Shutout of Evanston highlights spectacular soccer season



The varsity New Trier Boys Soccer team poses for a team photo after defeating Evanston 2-0 on Sept. 20 to win back the fire hydrant they lost in 2020.

Stands were packed for Tuesday’s rivalry showdown against Evanston. With a critical matchup between the conference’s top two teams, emotions were higher than any other matchup this season. 


Goals from senior forward Benni Green and sophomore midfielder Cole Driscoll propelled the team to an impressive win.


“It’s always our goal to beat Evanston going into the beginning of the season,” says Driscoll. “So us getting a goal, especially with this being our first year on varsity, it’s a really big thing.”


Apart from consistently being the conference’s top two teams, the rivalry between New Trier and Evanston is more than just good teams wanting to prove themselves against other good teams. From the freshman level up to varsity, it’s a rivalry not seen in most sports at New Trier.


“You play with the Evanston kids for club, and you’ve sort of grown up with them like this,” says Green. “You’ve got friends surrounding you on the other team, so you always want to show that your school is better.”

You’ve got friends surrounding you on the other team, so you always want to show that your school is better.

— Benni Green

Led by junior Diego Velasquez, Evanston has dominated so far with a 9-2-2 overall record. With two straight conference victories, the Wildkits have recently tied New Trier atop the conference, showing the importance of New Trier’s recent victory but also a need to continue the high level play.


“Preparation and film were huge,” says Green. “ We saw him in film and our outside backs were able to shut him down, and once you shut down their key players, they don’t have an answer for you.”


The Trevians have cooled off recently, with three straight ties dropping their conference record to 3-0-2, which sits behind Evanston’s record of 4-1. Most recently, senior Evan Kanellos scored to put the Trevains ahead of GBN, but they were unable to keep the lead late.


“We’ve gone up 1-0 in two of our games recently,” says Kanellos. “We tried to kill off the game and win 1-0, but ended up giving up goals, so we have to work on cleaning that up.”

Starting with Kanellos, the talent for New Trier this year is obviously there, especially with 12 returning varsity players, a higher number than usual. This year’s team, however, has outmatched their opponents well in the mental game throughout the season, which is often the case for the Trevs.


“A lot of teams like to just kick the ball and run, but we really possess the ball and move the ball well,” says Kanellos. “That starts with the coaches and the system they set up, plus we have lots of guys that are good on the ball.”


Defensively, the team has been a force starting with sophomore goalie Thomas Terry. The team has given up only 12 goals across 16 games, which leads the conference. They have been just as strong offensively, finding success in fairly unusual ways. Head coach Matt Ravenscraft has been pleased with how many goals have been scored off of set pieces.


“One of the things we didn’t expect to be dominant in, but has become a strength of ours, is set pieces,” says Ravenscraft. “So for corner kicks or free kicks, we’ve been really dangerous, especially Evan and Colin Gottshall.”


Despite recent winnable games ending up in ties, Trevian soccer is ranked tenth in Illinois, and with playoffs coming up in less than three weeks, hopes are high. The team hasn’t lost a game in over a month, though they still realize there is a long way to go to reach the state level.


“There are 450 teams in the state, so it’s not going to be easy,” says Ravencraft. “Our goal is to win sectionals, and then we’ll just see what happens.”