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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New Trier star’s extra-time free kick boots Evanston from playoffs in thriller

Following an Evanston Township High School penalty in the waining minutes of extra time in the IHSA Sectional Semifinal, Trevians’ O’Neill ends Kits’ title aspirations
Adrian Garton
Despite leading for the majority of their sectional semifinal against New Trier, the Trevians’ two extra-time goals proved decisive.

After almost 95 minutes of game action between Evanston and New Trier in the IHSA Sectional Semifinal, the contest—which had been locked at 1-1 since midway through the second half—seemed destined for penalty kicks until the Trevians penetrated the Kits’ defense just enough to alter the game’s trajectory.

One ETHS foul from just outside the penalty area later, and the contest’s direction shifted toward the Trevians.

Before a packed Lazier Field, the stands split between the ETHS blue and orange and the New Trier green and white, New Trier star midfielder and Northwestern commit Aidan O’Neill settled for a moment before the free kick.

On a perfectly struck ball placed in the top right corner of the goal, far beyond where Evanston senior goalkeeper Cade Likhite could reasonably make the save, O’Neill ended Evanston’s hopes of a deep playoff run.

Following an additional goal in the last minute of the contest, New Trier took down Evanston, 3-1, to advance to the sectional final.

For the early part of the contest, Evanston looked primed to counter its regular season loss to the Trevians on Sept. 21. The Kits jumped out to a lead in the first half after senior Bryan Maldonado scored off a critical mistake by Trevian goalie Thomas Terry. But the game quickly turned into a defensive battle for the Kits, who took a 1-0 lead into the break.

Numerous opportunities for the Trevians couldn’t find their way past the Evanston defense, until New Trier’s Cole Driscoll found the back of the net on a free kick, tying the game up at one with 17 minutes left in the second half. Both teams fended each other off for the remainder of the regular time, sending the game into extra time, where it took 15 additional minutes for the Trevians to strike the fatal blow to the Kits.

With the win, New Trier advanced to the IHSA sectional final against Leyden on Friday, Oct. 28, while Evanston was left with what could have been. Following the loss, Evanston head coach Franz Calixte shared what he was feeling following what was a devastating loss for his team.

“Upset, sadness and anger,” Calixte said. “At times, we all played very well. But this was a very good season that came to a halt.”


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