Boys soccer battles to tie Warren Township

After slow first half, team falls short of win

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Boys soccer battles to tie Warren Township

The team gathers before the game for teacher appreciation ceremony

The team gathers before the game for teacher appreciation ceremony

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The team gathers before the game for teacher appreciation ceremony

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The team gathers before the game for teacher appreciation ceremony

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On Friday, Oct. 4, varsity boys soccer tied the Warren Township Blue Devils 1-1 on homecoming night at Northfield Stadium.

Coming off a dominant CSL South title-clinching victory over Evanston on Oct. 1, the Trevians played uncharacteristically poor soccer against Warren. Over the course of the game, the boys in green and blue struggled to ever get it going as a team.

“To be honest, we were below our standard,” said head coach Matthew Ravenscraft. “We came out slow, and it just took us some time to grow into the game.”

The first half was a back and forth affair, with neither team gaining the upper hand. A goal by junior midfielder Jake Krueger capped a strong Trevian run to start the second half, but the Blue Devils tied the game with nine minutes left on the clock.

Coach Ravenscraft and the Trevians’ players agreed that they lacked their usual intensity and focus against Warren Township. In general, senior defender Julio Mora felt both that he and the team played mediocre soccer.

“There were times when I felt sloppy on the ball, but there were other times where I was getting stuck into tackles very well,” said Mora.

Overall, the Trevians felt that their sluggish play was most likely due to a combination of two factors—an unusual game time and other distractions.

Sophomore defender James Paden explained that the 5 PM starting time against Warren Township was abnormal for the Trevians, and as a result, their body clocks were off during the game.

“The team on the whole started slowly,” said Paden. “[Maybe] it was the time of the game and not having enough time to prepare.”

According to Ravenscraft, in addition to the abnormal game time, the homecoming festivities, which included a teacher appreciation ceremony prior to the game, also played a role in the team’s sluggish start.

“I think we didn’t manage the occasion very well,” he said. “I think we lost our focus.”

While these distractions and body clock issues are somewhat understandable, the Trevians expressed frustration about their subpar performance.

According to MaxPreps.com, the Trevians are the best 3A boys soccer team in Illinois. Warren Township, on the other hand, is ranked 23rd in 3A.

“People expect more out of us and have high standards for us. We have to exceed those standards,” said Mora.

In taking advantage of the Trevians’ subpar play, Warren Township turned out a strong performance. Ravenscraft and his players were all impressed by how the Blue Devils played.

‘They were a very strong side,” said Paden. “They were able to defend very compactly and force us to have great composure on the ball as well as creativity in our movement off the ball in order to break them down.”

Though he was disappointed with his team’s overall performance, Ravenscraft did draw some positives from the game. He pointed to senior captain Jeffrey Urban’s return to the field after missing five weeks with a high ankle sprain and Paden’s pass to James Krueger for the Trevians’ lone goal as bright spots.

“Jake Krueger’s run to create space and then his finish for the goal was fantastic, and James Paden also had a great assist there,” said Ravenscraft.

Paden’s assist and Kreuger’s goal capped a period at the beginning of the second half during which the Trevians’ played like they have all season—intense, focused, and as a team.

Looking ahead, the team will have to continue playing like they did during this portion of the game if they want to achieve their lofty goals for the season.

“Our goal is state, period,” said Paden.

The Trevians still have a way to go before winning a state title, but they clearly have the talent and skill to compete for it.

If anything, a sluggish performance like that against Warren Township is a good learning experience in preparation for tough games later in the season.

Keeping this in mind, Paden made certain to clarify, “However, in order to achieve that [state], we need to take it one practice at a time and one game at a time.”

The Trevians will have to avoid more sluggish performances like against Warren Township if they wan to win a state championship this season.

“We need to reclaim our sharpness and we have big goals,” said Ravenscraft. “It’s time for us to take that step forward.”

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