The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

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Field hockey’s fight against last year’s state champs proves ‘we can play with them’

Evanston Township High School field hockey heartened in loss to New Trier.
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As the lights turned on and rain began to fall on New Trier’s freshman athletics field Monday night, the Kits remained locked in battle. Though the ball continued to hit the back of the net for its opponents, the field hockey team kept up its energy and spirit in a showcase of perseverance.

ETHS fended off the 2022 Illinois state champion Trevians to just two goals for the first three quarters, showcasing prowess on the defensive line and skill from keeper Bridget Lesch. While the Kits fought hard, they had to settle with a 4-0 loss to the undefeated New Trier.

“I’m really proud of how we played, and we showed up at all ends of the field,” says head coach Annie Lesch. “I think we took New Trier by surprise.”

Through the first quarter, constant pressure from the Trevians kept the ball by the Kits’ goal, and New Trier (8-0-2) broke past Evanston’s defenses with five minutes remaining to put its first score on the board. Despite attempts to return the heat, the Kits (6-2-1) struggled to maintain possession.

The second quarter saw the offense getting more action. Though no play ended successfully, the Kits had a few corner opportunities.

“I wish we had played a possession game throughout the whole thing,” Lesch says. “We resorted to the long ball at the end, which is tough for us to get a good shot in.”

Senior co-captain Julia Newbold moved to midfield from her usual spot in the defensive line and shined through her constant movement and ability to stop the Trevian offense in its tracks. Goalkeeper Bridget Lesch’s fast reactions saved the Kits from at least six additional goals and kept the Trevians working.

“Our defense is really solid in general,” Lesch says. “Both the field players and [Lesch]. [Lesch] played out of her mind today. She does better in these games where she’s getting peppered [with shots]. That keeps her mentally focused.”

While the game broke the Kits from a six-game streak without a loss, they didn’t come away from the match disappointed.

Last year, the Kits netted their second-ever goal against the Trevians in a 5-1 loss. New Trier’s field hockey program—first in the state in 2022, 2021, and 2019— was ranked third in all of the midwest and western United States by MAX Field Hockey. While ETHS’ team has only existed as a varsity sport for one season, they’ve already proven they have what it takes to compete at a high level.

“[We showed that] we can play with them,” Lesch says. “Now, the goal is to get it to the next level, to be scoring on them, shooting on them. Let’s challenge them a little more.”

The Kits take on Antioch at home on Sept. 16, and their next conference game is at Loyola on Sept. 20.

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Alexis Rogers, Sports Feature Editor
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