New Trier booters reclaim hydrant, drop Kits 1-0

New Trier’s soccer team reclaimed the fire hydrant trophy Tuesday night at Lazier Field.

And in the bigger picture, the Trevians moved into the driver’s seat when it comes to earning a No. 1 seed for the Class 3A New Trier Sectional tournament--- and a likely Central Suburban League South division title, too.

With all of that at stake, host Evanston couldn’t find the back of the net and suffered a 1-0 defeat. The Wildkits slipped to 8-2-1 on the season with their second shutout loss but still lead the all-time series between the two rivals with 41 wins to 40 for New Trier. The two teams have tied 22 times.

Now all the Wildkits can do is hope for a rematch in the postseason. But solving the Trevian defense might not be any easier the second time around.

Any time the Kits gained possession inside their foes’ 20-yard line Tuesday, it seemed at least 2 or 3 defenders were always in position to deny any real threat by the host team. New Trier goalkeeper Sam Rutherford only stopped 3 shots all night as the Trevians improved to 11-2 on the year.

“When you  get chances early, you have to put them in, and we didn’t do that again tonight,” said Evanston coach Franz Calixte. “New Trier is really a well-disciplined team, especially in the back, and you won’t get any ‘soft’ goals against them. Their average height must be at least 6-foot-2 and they play a good system with that size.

“Their big boys aren’t slow, either. That’s a solid defensive team and they deserved to win, even though we gave them a goal. Tonight was a great battle, and hopefully, we’ll see them again.”

Evanston’s Colin Thompson whistled a shot just left of the post and Chloisse Nkurunziza tested Rutherford with a shot in the first 10 minutes of the game. 

The Trevians took advantage of a back-pass turnover by the Wildkits as Will Felitto capitalized for the only score in the 15th minute, knocking a shot past ETHS keeper Gavin Rosengarten.

Evanston’s best scoring chance in the second half came on a pair of restarts due to Trevian fouls. Thompson was fouled at the 20-yard line in the 66th minute, but Miguel Jimenez’s subsequent free kick banged harmlessly off New Trier’s defensive wall.

Jimenez had another chance with 1:30 remaining, but this time his free kick sailed high through the uprights of the goal post.

“The first 15 or 20 minutes in the first half, we were patient and played good soccer. We did a good job of spreading them out,” Calixte pointed out. “But after they scored that goal they got into their direct game plan. The good thing is we were able to see them early, so we can bounce back and get a chance to play them again.”

Dennis Mahoney is sports information director for ETHS.

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