After beating Niles West on Sept. 11 for their second straight victory, the Evanston Township High School boys soccer team looked to make it three in a row when they took on Niles North on Sept. 13 at Lazier Field in Evanston.
The Wildkits were able to do just that, as they beat the Vikings by a score of 3-2. In that game, the Vikings struck first when they scored on a penalty kick just 2 minutes 31 seconds into the game. But the Kits tied it at 1-1 when junior Quinn Ackman found the back of the net on a penalty kick with just 18 seconds remaining in the first half.
From there, the Kits took a 2-1 lead when senior Ndu Nkurunziza scored at the 26:05 mark in the second half. The Vikings did not go down quietly, however, as they bounced back to tie it at 2-2 with 17:40 remaining. But fortunately, senior Will Weinman scored what turned out to be the game winner at the 16:45 mark, as the Kits held on for the 3-2 victory.
“We made it exciting for the fans, but I think we played well,” said head coach Franz Calixte regarding his team’s performance.” The Coach added, “That has been like our M.O. now [as that] was our third game [including matchups with Fremd and Maine West] at home that we have had a PK [penalty kick] in the first eight to 10 minutes. I do not know, I guess they need to get a PK to get their blood flowing.”
With the victory, the Kits improved to 6-2-1 overall. When asked how he feels the season is going so far, Coach Calixte said, “So far so good. We are starting to click with each other, and different people are scoring. We are still giving up too many goals, but that is something that we can fix and work towards [as we get deeper] into the season. But so far so good.”
Regarding what the team needs to do to be successful the rest of the season, Coach Calixte emphasized the need to finish on their scoring chances. “We have to score early and then limit the amount of opportunities [for our opponents]. At the end [of the Niles North game], there was a lot [of scoring chances], but that is our fault. We have to put away our chances so it is not a close game at the end. When you have that much possession, we have to do a better job of putting away our opportunities.”
After the Niles North game, the Kits beat Warren by a score of 2-1 on Sept. 15 for their fourth straight victory, thus improving their overall record to 7-2-1. Next up, the Kits were set to visit Glenbrook South on Sept. 17, archrival New Trier on Sept. 20 and Jacobs on Sept. 22. Regarding the Glenbrook South matchup, Coach Calixte said, “That is going to be a tough one. From what I understand, they are on a roll. So we will see how we do. It is at GBS, so it makes things difficult because it is a small field and we like to possess the ball, and on a smaller field it is a lot more difficult. But we just have to start putting goals away.”