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The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

New Trier boys soccer poised for strong finish

With new addition Aidan O’Neill, coach Ravenscraft has the squad right where it needs to be
Kouk Media
Midfielder Aidan O’Neill celebrates a goal against Round Lake in the Northside College Showcase championship game

Following a state sectional win last year and a fast 10-1-2 start this year, the message throughout the New Trier boys soccer locker room is clear: win the day. This is the program’s mantra for the 2023 season, representing the idea of getting 1% better everyday. 

As Head Coach Matt Ravenscraft says, “We can’t win tomorrow, so we have to make sure we’re focused on the specific moment.”

We still have a job to do in the postseason.

— Aidan O’Neill

Staying grounded is what has kept the Trevians atop the CSL for years, including a share of first-place with a 4-1 record with wins over Evanston Township High School, Niles West High School, Niles North High School, and Glenbrook South High School, while falling to Glenbrook North High School. 

Ravenscraft, recipient of the 2022 IHSSCA Soccer Person of the Year award, understands the importance of staying grounded. 

“Our senior leadership does a great job of keeping everyone locked in,” Ravenscraft said.

For the first time in four seasons, the Trevs captured the Northside College Showcase title with wins over Loyola Academy and Libertyville High School before handling Round Lake in the championship with a 4-0 victory.

Senior midfielder Aidan O’Neill and new addition to the squad bagged seven goals and an assist throughout the four games to earn All-Tournament honors alongside seniors Shafer Brahm, a goalkeeper, midfielder Ian Vichnick, and Captain and defender Kevin Farina. 

O’Neill, team leader in goals and assists with 12 and 7 respectively, has committed to Northwestern University to play collegiate soccer next year. Although this is his first year in the programhe played club soccer his first three years of high schoolhis adjustment to the team has been smooth.

“Aidan’s a competitor,” Ravenscraft said. “More than anything, he just wants to win.”

Fresh off of a commitment and successful club season, O’Neill felt like this was the year to join NTBS.  

“I always wanted to play New Trier soccer, and this year seemed like the perfect time for my development and my career,” O’Neill said. 

The timing couldn’t have been better, as not only has O’Neill’s performance uplifted the Trevs, but he has also filled a position of attacking needed in the offense. 

“I wouldn’t say it was a surprise, because we tend to reload every year,” Ravenscraft said.

In soccer, though, it takes more than a talented midfielder to make a team. New Trier’s back line defense of Liam Meyers and Kevin Farina have taken on the captaincy in a great way. 

Farina has experienced what it means to captain NTBS for quite some time, having seen his older brothers come through the New Trier soccer program before him. A three-year varsity player himself, Farina also realizes the responsibilities that come with sporting the captain armband. 

“You know other guys are looking up to you, so it’s important to set a good example on and off the field,” Farina said. 

As opposed to other sports, where captains may wear a “C” on their chest, soccer captains always donn an armband with the letter “C” on it, signifying their role as a captain and leader. 

“Our guys are wearing the armband on and off the field, in a sense,” Ravenscraft said. 

The Trevians will look to repeat the same postseason success that landed them in the state quarterfinals last year.

“Obviously the end goal is to win the state championship, and we came up short of that last year,” O’Neill said. “We still have a job to do in the postseason.”

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