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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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New Trier hoses off boys soccer, hands Kits first loss of season

After giving up two goals in twenty seconds in first half, Evanston Township High School can’t claw its way back against New Trier.
Against+New+Trier+on+Thursday+night%2C+Evanston+allowed+more+goals+than+it+had+in+its+last+four+games+combined.
Adrian Garton
Against New Trier on Thursday night, Evanston allowed more goals than it had in its last four games combined.

To an outside spectator, a fire hydrant may seem like a tool that keeps our streets flame-free. But to the Evanston and New Trier boys soccer teams, that object is synonymous with rivalry. The winner of the annual game spray paints the hydrant with their team colors and keeps it on school property until the opposing team wins it back. Unfortunately for the Kits, this year, the fire hydrant will remain in the hands of the Trevians after the Kits were cooled off on Thursday night.

Although the Kits got off to a hot start, the Trevians battled their way back and held on to a 3-2 win.

Coming into the highly anticipated matchup at Lazier Field between two of the top teams in the state, Evanston was looking to clinch the regular season conference title on Thursday night, and within just three minutes of the opening kickoff, senior captain Bryan Maldonado sent in a beautifully placed ball to junior forward Joseph Sargent, who drilled a perfectly placed header into the back of the net. The fiery start for Evanston (11-1, 3-1 CSL) seemed to be a continuation of Tuesday night’s 4-0 win against Glenbrook South. But just ten minutes later, New Trier’s Aidan O’Neill, a Northwestern commit, drew a penalty kick off of a redirected shot and capitalized to even the game at one apiece. 

New Trier (9-1-2, 2-1-1 CSL) wasn’t done. A mere twenty seconds later, the Trevians blasted a shot that senior goalie Cade Likhite saved but couldn’t corral. New Trier midfielder Nicky Mekhitarian followed the rebound and scored off the redirect that popped out of Likhite’s hands. The Trevians managed to dominate possession in the closing minutes of the half and took some serious momentum into the break.

“[New Trier] started to get too much room in the middle of the field. They came at us with a lot of speed,” said head coach Franz Calixte. “That created a bunch of problems for us.”

The effort from both teams manifested into chippy play in the first half. Multiple cards, fouls and warnings were given out in the first half, while numerous cheap shots and fouls on tackles weren’t called. 

New Trier came out of the half right where it left off, controlling the middle of the field and creating plenty of chances. While Evanston’s defense managed to fend off New Trier for the first twenty minutes out of the break, Trevian defender Yannick Vaughn put the visitors up 3-1 midway through the half. Two Wildkit defenders had a mishap trying to clear the ball in the 18-yard box off a New Trier corner kick, giving a wide open look for Vaughn, which he buried.

Up two goals, the Trevians fell back into a defensive position. As the clock ticked down, Evanston went into an all-out attack mode. With eight minutes left in the game, Maldonado capitalized on a header off a pretty cross by junior midfielder Orlando Tobin, bringing the Kits to within one. The goal was a relief for Maldonado, who sailed a close-range, uncontested shot over the crossbar three minutes before. 

“That felt great. [It was] a huge relief. Especially with such an easy shot right in front of the goal,” Maldonado stated.

Even as the Kits continued to move the ball close to the New Trier goal in the final couple of minutes, the Trevian defense was practically a brick wall as the squad was able to park the bus to close the contest out. After two close shots were saved by New Trier goalie Thomas Terry, the Trevians ran out the clock and sealed a 3-2 win over Evanston. While Calixte was disappointed that the second half comeback was too little, too late, he emphasized that the loss may ease some pressure off his team’s shoulders.

“I don’t like to lose to those guys, but it’s actually alright that we have a loss. It’s a lot of extra pressure on a team to go undefeated the whole year,” Calixte said. “Hopefully, we learn from this and get better from it.”

With the loss, Evanston failed to clinch the CSL South title, but the Kits can still win the outright title with a win against Maine South next week. Evanston will face Whitney Young on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 1:00 on the road. Last season, the Kits were shocked by the Dolphins in a 2-1 loss. For Calixte and the team, that loss is driving them into the weekend.

“[Saturday] will be payback,” said a laughing Calixte. “We’ll be playing with a little chip on our shoulder.”

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About the Contributors
Owen Chiss
Owen Chiss, Digital Sports Editor
Will Klearman
Will Klearman, Opinion Columnist
Hey everyone! I’m Will Klearman (he/him) and this year I am an opinion columnist as well as a sports writer. I am a sophomore and this is my second year on staff. Being on The Evanstonian is great because it allows me to get an inside look on the sports at ETHS. I also love getting my opinion out there. Outside of The Evanstonian, I enjoy hanging out with friends, playing tennis and watching sports!
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