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The Evanston Township High School boys soccer team took on Niles North in search of its fifth victory in a row when their team visited the Vikings in Niles on Sept. 12. The Wildkits were able to do just that, as they prevailed by a score of 4-0.
In that game, the Kits took a 1-0 lead when Frank Berkely scored on a header with 7:16 remaining in the first half. The score remained 1-0 into the intermission, but a goal by Morais Lee with 33:57 remaining in the second half made it a 2-0 contest. Morais’ goal was followed by a goal from Matthew Webley just over one minute later, giving the Kits a 3-0 lead with 32:40 remaining.
From there, the Kits were able to turn away any thoughts the Vikings had of staging a dramatic second half comeback as the defense was able to limit the Vikings’ scoring opportunities for the remainder of the game. But a goal with 8:12 remaining from Dominique Bahombwa made it a 4-0 game, which all but sealed the victory for the Kits.
“I think we did very well. It is a narrow field [at Niles North] and it is always such a good game because these guys know each other. So it is always competitive,” explained head coach Franz Calixte. “We used to be on the other side for a little while [referring to Niles North having the edge in the win column in this matchup]. So this is a good win for us and I am happy.”
Regarding the performance of his team’s defensive play, Coach Calixte said, “That is our fifth [shutout] in a row. We have been really focusing on limiting opportunities [for the other team to score] and [Niles North] did not have many shot opportunities. So the defense was doing what they were supposed to be doing and I like that.”
When asked to evaluate the team’s performance to date, Coach Calixte said, “So far so good. We are doing what we thought we would do. We have a lot of goal scorers on this team, and they are coming through. They are doing what they are supposed to be doing.” The Coach added, “It is fun to watch. It is very competitive in practice all the time. They look forward to games because at least there is a referee in the game to slow things down and calm people down, because these guys are at it [in practice].”
In order to maintain this level of play for the rest of the season, Coach Calixte says the keys will be to develop their rotations and to keep players on the roster fresh and motivated. “We have to develop our rotations. We [also] do not want to overuse people, we want to keep people fresh, keep people hungry, and I think that is one of the keys. Also, we have good competition in practice, but we have to be together. It is like family. You are cheering your family members on and that is positive. That is how I see it, we are family, we are one, and we push each other so that we can win together.”
On Sept. 17, the Kits beat Maine South, 2-0, bringing their overall record to 7-0-1. Next up, the Kits take on Niles West on Sept. 19 at Lazier Field in Evanston, followed by a matchup at Glenbrook North on Sept. 24. That game is followed by a date with Glenbrook South on Sept. 26 in Evanston.