Evanston’s soccer team will leave Saturday for a spring break trip to South Carolina.
The Wildkit girls will be seeking warmer weather — it couldn’t be any colder there — and a chance for their offense to heat up, too, in a pair of games set for next Monday and Tuesday down south.
The Kits dropped their second straight 1-0 decision of the week Friday at Glenbrook South, bowing in the Central Suburban League South division opener after also losing to Loyola Academy 1-0 on a bitter cold day earlier in the week.
Those losses won’t help when it comes to seeding for the Illinois High School Association sectional postseason tournament and now it will be an uphill climb for Coach Stacy Salgado’s squad in the conference title chase.
But Salgado knows it’s too early to push the panic button — not that she ever will.
“This was a hard week for us and I guess it’s a good time for spring break,” Salgado said after the Wildkits slipped to 2-2 on the season. “No, it’s not good for us for the sectional seeding, but it will be a good challenge for us going forward. These losses showed us what we need to work on. I’m not concerned because it’s still so early in the season.
“We still need to work on our communication, because that’s always big, and on our trust in each other. It’s still early and I think we’re connecting pretty well (on the field). We just have to be more consistent.”
Evanston dominated the midfield in the first half of Friday’s showdown with the Titans, yet had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. Glenbrook South scored on a direct kick by Katie Sullivan in the 33rd minute, converting the only shot on goal the hosts mustered in the entire first half. Sullivan’s restart sailed over the head of ETHS freshman goalie Caitlin Fitzpatrick, a perfectly placed shot.
“I honestly thought we outplayed Glenbrook South, we just weren’t able to capitalize on our opportunities,” Salgado said. “We have to make sure we finish the chances we have. GBS likes to kick it far and it worked for them, especially in the second half. We didn’t play our game and we didn’t get numbers in the box like we like to do.”
Evanston managed just one shot on goal in the first half and caught a break early in the second half when an apparent score by Dana Steffen was nullified by an offside call 7 minutes in.
The best chance for the Wildkits to get even came when senior Alexa Michel booted a long pass to a streaking Keara Kerr, who got behind the defense for a breakaway. But with two GBS defenders in hot pursuit, Kerr pulled the trigger a bit early and knocked the shot wide left of the net with 32 minutes left in regulation.
Two minutes later, GBS keeper Libbie Vanderveen denied a point-blank shot by Evanston sophomore Callista O’Connor after a cross by Michel left the ball bouncing loose out in front. That was the last shot on goal mustered by the losers.
Glenbrook South improved to 3-0-2 on the season.
Dennis Mahoney is sports information director for ETHS.