The Evanston Township High School men’s soccer team handed New Trier their first defeat of the 2021 season in a battle of unbeaten teams last fall.
The Trevians waited an entire year – plus 75 minutes – to return the favor on Tuesday night at Northfield.
Goals from Cole Driscoll (19th minute) and Wyatt McAlexander (62nd minute) and a solid defensive performance from the hosts secured the 2-0 win which saw New Trier (10-1-2 on aggregate) claim the trophy fire hydrant which is awarded. to the winner of the rivalry match each year.
Evanston, now 7-1-2, still leads the all-time football series standings with 44 wins to New Trier’s 43. The two rivals have drawn 22 times.
The start of the match was delayed 75 minutes by lightning and thunderstorms in the area. That expectation only teased the football appetite of the nearly 1,000 spectators who turned out to see two teams who could easily meet in the final of the Class 3A Glenbrook South sectional tournament in a few weeks.
New Trier had the upper hand on Tuesday in a wide open game where no one possessed the ball for more than a few heartbeats.
That’s not the style Evanston wanted to play.
“It was a game of [different] styles,” said Evanston head coach Franz Calixte. “They just kept popping the ball [with deep kicks] to those very quick guys they have up front, and their defense did a good job staying back so we couldn’t attack with numbers.
“It was a good learning experience for us. They played their preemptive defense really well, and it was good for us to see that now, rather than later. Tonight they were the best team.
ETHS had just five shots on goal tonight against Trevian goalkeeper Thomas Terry. The brilliant second save over Diego Velasquez in the 51st minute belongs to New Trier’s flagship strip for the season – and perhaps the all-time strip too.
The game started with a free kick from the 32-yard line by Joseph Munyaneza of Evanston following a foul. Munyaneza drilled a line drive through the defense towards Velasquez, who came on to strike what appeared to be the equalizer.
But Terry had other ideas. He kind of raised his hand at the last possible second to deflect the shot on a bang-bang play.
“Their keeper was on fire on this game. He rose to the top and played an incredible game,” Calixte said. “In a game like this you don’t usually get a lot of saves, but you have to be big at some point.”
After that, the Wildkits never really came close to scoring again.
“I saw the ball go, I knew I wasn’t offside, I put my foot out and grabbed it. But he read the play and he was there,” said a Velasquez disappointed.” That saved the game. A goal there could have been a game-changer.
“We tried to own the ball more, but they put pressure on us and it seemed like we lost possession of the ball every time. It felt more like a kickball game. We came in too cocky tonight. I think we underestimated them.
A highlight for the losers was defensive play from senior Patrick Osilaja, who shut down several potential Trevians points in both halves. “Patrick played fantastic football for us behind the back,” Calixte said. “He gives us superior leadership and he really plays with confidence. It is really flourishing for us.
The win gives New Trier the edge in the Central Suburban League divisional race and could also help the Trevs secure the No. 1 seed for the division. “Right now, I guess it’s a one-team race,” the ETHS coach said. “But they play at Glenbrook South and Glenbrook North, and anything can still happen.”