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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Sectional champ field hockey team ends playoff run with loss to top-ranked New Trier

Evanston Township High School field hockey hang tough, ultimately fall, 6-0, to reigning state champion Trevians
Alexis Rogers
After a tactical change to be more aggressive on offense, Evanston’s backline was often left vulnerable in the second half of its semifinal against New Trier.

Thirty minutes into the state semifinal match against New Trier, field hockey was within one goal of the championship contest. A move to mobilize the offense gave the Kits greater possession in the second half, but ultimately the Trevians overpowered Evanston’s weakened defense to net five more points and end up with a resounding 6-0 victory.

Evanston had its best seed of all time this season, entering the playoffs ranked number five with a regular season record of 12-5-1. After their school history-making Sectional victory over Loyola on Oct. 20, where the Kits earned redemption against the team they lost 1-0 to earlier in the season, they advanced to the final four.

“We’re super excited to be here,” said head coach Annie Lesch. “The girls were working really hard. I really believed we could win, to be honest. It just came down to the depth of [New Trier’s] team. They’re strong at all angles.”

Evanston held New Trier to a stalemate in the first quarter, utilizing the entire team in the defense to hunker down against the Trevians’ relentless attacks. Late in the second corner, New Trier’s Izzy Morgan utilized a moment of relaxation to take the Kits by surprise, mobilizing a free hit before Evanston had set in formation and blazing past the unprepared defense. Morgan’s goal put the Trevians up 1-0 entering the second half.

“Everyone was playing defense,” Lesch said. “The forwards getting back was helping us, and we challenged all their shots. In the second half, [the Trevians] were teeing off unmarked. We left the ball open.”

Though they’d successfully fended off most of New Trier’s attempts in the first half, the second half saw the Kits’ offense moving back toward the Trevians’ goal in an effort to gain scoring opportunities. This reformation left Evanston vulnerable, and the Trevians capitalized upon this lapse, scoring three times in the second quarter and another two in the last.

“We can’t win if we don’t score, and we can’t score if we don’t shoot,” coach Lesch says.

Still, Evanston’s defense shined as it successfully fended off eleven of the Trevians’ 12 penalty corners of the night, while Kits received no penalty shots of their own. Senior co-captains Julia Newbold and Alice Porter on defense and fellow classmates Makayla Clark and GG Hogan in the midfield provided solid foundations for the rest of the team throughout the game.

In the first two games of the state tournament, New Trier took 11-0 and 7-0 victories against Stevenson and Glenbard West. The team, which ended the regular season with a record of 19-1-2, is the strong favorite to win its third consecutive state championship this year.

Despite the season-ending loss, Evanston advanced farther than ever before in the state series and hopes to continue this growth. The 2023 season saw the Kits ranked 10th, and this year’s improvement provides motivation for the future. Returning talent from Sasha Hammond, Bridget Durkin, Olive Lassman, Sienna Seyfreth, Maggie Bird and goalkeeper Bridget Lesch will round out the 2024 squad.

“We’re going to have to regroup and reposition [next year], because we’re going to lose some big people, especially in the midfield but defensively as well,” coach Lesch says. “People will shift around, but I think the culture has been set, the work ethic has been set, so we’ll just be rebuilding. Everyone’s focused and ready to go.”

New Trier advances to the Illinois High School Field Hockey Association state championship against Glenbrook South on Saturday. The Kits will play a consolation game against Lake Forest at 11 a.m prior to the championship.

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Alexis Rogers, Sports Feature Editor
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