(Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated who assisted on New Trier’s goal. It has been updated to correctly credit Honor Dold with the assist.)
New Trier soccer kept at it Friday night, and the resilience kept the Trevians alive in the IHSA Class 4A postseason.
After numerous unfruitful end-line runs and crosses, the Trevians broke through in the 63rd minute when Honor Dold’s pinpoint pass found the foot of a streaking Nora Westol who beat Lane Tech’s overextended goalkeeper for the only goal of the sectional championship on Friday, May 26, in Evanston.
The goal was not Westol’s first opportunity of the night. In fact, just a couple minutes earlier, the senior sent a ball just over the crossbar. But the senior didn’t let it get her down. She knew teammates like Dold would keep serving up quality chances.
“We work on that so much (in practice): crossing and finishing,” Westol said. “And when we miss in practice, it’s always like, ‘OK, next one.’ It’s really drilling that in. I might not have gotten this one, but the next one is money.”
New Trier’s defense — as it has all postseason – stood tall for the final 15 minutes to give the Trevians the sectional crown and send them to a supersectional match (elite eight) against Libertyville on Tuesday, May 30, on New Trier’s home field in Northfield.
New Trier coach Jim Burnside praised his back line of Lydia Vassallo, Clara Deliduka, Dold and Kennedy Colegrove — just as he did earlier in the week after a 1-0 victory against Loyola Academy.
This match, however, was more open, and while the Trevians applied pressure more often than the Champions, the Champions had plenty of dangerous attacks.
New Trier’s defense was up to the challenge, keeping most of the action away from goalie Caroline Hague (6 saves).
“Our defense … they played great,” Burnside said. “They play well together, they back each other up and they understand the concept of bend don’t break. They’re an intelligent group of defenders.”
On the other side of the field, New Trier spent much of the night working the ball to the outside, hoping to get around and behind Lane Tech’s defense.
The strategy worked well most of match — except for one aspect. New Trier’s early crosses were not far enough upfield, giving the Champions’ goalkeeper, Cynthia Waller, opportunities to make plays on them.
In the second half, the Trevians began sending their crosses further away from the goal, like Evans’ game-winning assist that was just out of reach of Waller, who came off her line only for Westol to beat her to the ball.
“Burnside told us anything outside the 6(-yard line) is what we need to get in order to get a goal, and Nora is right there. She’s been there all game long,” said midfielder Sybil Evans, who manufactured many chances for New Trier.
New Trier moves on to the supersectional against a familiar foe, Libertyville (16-2-2), which beat Fremd 2-1 on Friday, May 26.
The Wildcats and Trevians met just two seasons ago, 2021, in the same spot, with the Wildcats earning a 1-0 victory to end the Trevians’ streak of six straight state finals.
Evans, a freshman for New Trier in 2021, remembers that game and is looking forward to a rematch Tuesday in Northfield.
“We were a totally different team and (this year) through all our practices and games we’ve been gearing up for the end of the season,” she said. “To have this game again to see where we are is super special and I am just so excited for Tuesday.”