Franz Calixte knows that good defenses can hold down high octane offenses with a concentrated effort once postseason play begins.
But the veteran Evanston coach also knows that his squad has more weapons than most state contenders in Class 3A.
The Wildkits opened regional tournament play Wednesday with a 7-2 trouncing of Prospect as 5 different players notched goals for the winners at Lazier Field.
Evanston, seeded third in the New Trier Sectional, will face Loyola Academy on Saturday at 1 p.m. for the regional championship. Loyola eliminated Niles West 2-1 Wednesday.
Given a choice, Calixte would probably lean more toward wanting to have a championship-type defense on his side in the one-and-done postseason format.
But he also knows that the Wildkits aren’t out of any game, even if they fall behind, because of their ability to score in bunches.
“I’ve said it before, but I think ours would be a hard team (for rival coaches) to scout, because who do you pick to try to shut down? Calixte asked. “Today Colin (Thompson) and Miggy (Jimenez) were our big scorers, but Nate Pollack scored twice for us the other night.
“This could be the best offensive team we’ve ever had. There are some good defensive teams out there, but if we lose in the state tournament, it won’t be because we couldn’t create (scoring chances).”
The Kits (12-4-4 overall) fell behind 1-0 at windswept Lazier Field when Javian Whyte, who played at ETHS as a freshman and sophomore before transferring, found the upper right corner of the net in the 23rd minute. That tally seemed to serve as a wakeup call for the hosts, as Jimenez scored seven minutes later and then assisted on Thompson’s first goal.
The Knights, the No. 14 seed, countered with a goal by Aaron Whiteman off a corner kick, before Thompson’s second goal of the game provided a 3-2 halftime advantage for Evanston.
ETHS had the 25 mile-per-hour wind at its collective backs and dominated both the possession and the scoring in the second half, with Jimenez, Carlo DiBernardo, Reed Hurtig and sophomore Matt Webley sharing the scoring wealth.
Dennis Mahoney is sports information director for ETHS.