Freshman standout Martin Torres-Moreno had a hand in all 3 goals Thursday night in the second half of a 3-1 victory over Glenbrook South at Lazier Field.
That effort set up a winner-take-all showdown for Evanston’s soccer team at home next Tuesday against arch-rival New Trier for the Central Suburban League South division championship.
Torres-Moreno netted his team high 10th goal of the season in the game’s 55th minute; assisted with a perfect 30-yard pass to teammate Baruani Kamangila for the second goal; and created an insurance tally when he was fouled taking on 3 defenders, earning a successful penalty kick for Quinn Ackman to seal the win.
Evanston improved to 10-0-1 overall and 4-0 in league play after what head coach Franz Calixte described as a “frustrating” first half.
“The second half was more like it, because we showed our superiority as a team,” Calixte said. “Don’t get me wrong, we played great soccer in the first half. But we’ve been working a lot in practice on putting shots in the frame (on goal) because we want to make the goalie work harder, and we had several chances to do that in the first half. But we didn’t keep the ball low like I wanted to.
“It makes the game that much harder when we do that. Once we started keeping things simple, it calmed them down more. It all comes down to the fact that it’s a game of probability, because if the shots are low, then anything can happen. If they’re high — you don’t get a second chance.”
Ironically, Torres-Moreno’s goal was a high rocket shot over the head of GBS goalie Aris Edlund (and just under the crossbar). With 10 goals in his first year in the ETHS program, the freshman has established himself as an impact player already in a program where freshmen seldom get on the field at the varsity level.
The Wildkits caught a break after earning that 1-0 advantage when, on a restart, South’s Danny Sergiev boomed a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar and back into the field of play.
Torres-Moreno’s long ball that led to a successful header for Kamangila would make any team’s season highlight film, and his ability to dribble in traffic produced the foul and subsequent penalty kick in the 69th minute.
Now the Kits are in a position to challenge defending CSL South champ New Trier for the outright title at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Lazier Field.
“First things first, we want to win the fire hydrant back,” said Calixte regarding the trophy that has changed hands in the rivalry for decades. “That will be a fun game. They play similar to the way we play and it’s always a great game when we play New Trier. It will be a great matchup.”