Power moves

Boys soccer seeks to maintain dominance against Jacobs, out of state foes


Jesse Bond

Gavin Rosengarten dribbles the ball at a practice back in August.

Billy Krupkin, Sports Editor

Although they have faced some of the best competition in Illinois so far, boys soccer hopes to ride their success across state lines as they travel to Iowa next weekend.

“[The Iowa tournament] is a time to begin our peak if we’re playing our system, which should be refined by then,” head coach Franz Calixte said.

Calixte explained that the tournament gives him a chance to bring up some younger players from JV or freshman levels, and allows them to begin developing into the varsity system.

“I don’t think anybody knows what to expect from the teams that are down there,” senior defender Niko Kapetan said. “We’re going to practice as if we’re playing any other team, keeping the ball at our feet and making combination plays using our firepower up top.”

The tournament, the Go 4 the Goal Fall Classic, takes place in Burlington, Iowa, and consists of 38 teams from all over the country. The Wildkits face off against Lee’s Summit West of Missouri in their opening matchup next Friday.

Tomorrow, the team faces off against non-conference foe Jacobs, whom they have not lost to in faceoffs dating back to 2014. They also play conference opponent Niles West on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

“The Jacobs game will be a good one,” senior striker/winger Nate Pollack said. “Whenever a team has lost to you in recent years, they come back with a greater will to win.”

Pollack’s addition to the team has been huge for the Kits, as he previously had only played for a club team. He has been a starter for the team all season, and has totaled four goals in his first eight games.

Jacobs, who the Kits tied last year, is a team coming back with similar talent from the past season.

“Jacobs had probably one of the most athletic players we played against last year,” Calixte said. “As a junior, he singlehandedly kept them in the game.”

The Kits remaining schedule features matchups against Niles West, Maine South and Deerfield, all conference games that pose a threat to the team’s current eight-game unbeaten streak.

“I think this year our schedule gets increasingly difficult with each team we face,” Pollack explained. “The schedule is somewhat similar to prior years, but the varsity teams at each school change from year to year, and this year there is lots of talent on other high school teams.”

“In the CSL, there are no easy games, even with the loss of Waukegan,” Calixte said. “We’ve got Niles North on our side now, and for soccer, they’ve been pretty good.”

The Wildkits are currently 8-1-1, and have faced off against two of the state’s top competitors in Barrington (whom they beat 2-0) and Waukegan.

As of Sept. 12, the Wildkits had only conceded goals in two of their eight games, coming in a 4-0 loss to Waukegan and a 5-1 win against Mather.