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New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

Boys soccer captures state title in dominant fashion

Trevians defeat Lyons Township by a score of 3-1 in boys soccer state championship and cruise to first state title since 2008
Kouk Media
Boys soccer varsity team celebrates after defeating Lyons Township in soccer 3A state championship

As the clock hit zero in the second half of the boys 3A soccer state championship, the New Trier Township High School boys soccer team swarmed the middle of the field as a team, rejoicing in its victory and the school’s first boys soccer title in 15 years. 

But there was one piece missing to the celebration: Coach Matt Ravenscraft, who made the walk over to the opposing bench of Lyons Township to shake the hand of their head coach, saluting the Lions and their coach on a great season. 

“Their coach was full of class and congratulated us,” Ravenscraft said. “I’m just glad I had the presence of mind to shake their hands.”

That was the craziest experience of my life and I’m glad I could do it with them.

— Aidan O’Neill

The class Ravenscraft showcased represents the kind of program the head coach has built since taking over in 2016, instituting the same “win the day” mentality that earned the Trevians the state championship in gritty fashion, as the team edged its previous three opponents by one goal before handling Lyons Township. 

“I was shaking and choking back tears. Just a flood of emotion,” Ravenscraft said.

It was a team effort for New Trier, a team that saw constant substitutions throughout the playoffs, as the war of attrition favored the Trevs in big moments.

“Once we began piecing together these wins and finding ways to win, we became confident that we could win it. Everybody bought in and stayed focused on the next game even after big wins,” senior midfielder Aidan O’Neill said.

Although this was O’Neill’s first and final season playing soccer as a Trevian, he said that it felt like he’d been in the program his entire high school career. 

“Everyone helped me transition into the team and made it feel like a family,” O’Neill said. “That was the craziest experience of my life and I’m glad I could do it with them.”

O’Neill finished the season with 20 goals and eight assists, both team-leading. Although O’Neill may not have filled up the stat sheet in the final two games as he did in the previous 25, he provided a key assist that ended up being the deciding goal.

“He didn’t score in the semifinal or final but he was constantly on the ball,” Ravenscraft said. “He helped us control the game and control the tempo.” 

New Trier defeated fellow Central Suburban League rival and regular season champion Glenbrook North High School in the semifinal, avenging the Trevs’ lone loss on season. As for the final, The Trevians raced out to an early goal by senior captain Ian Vichnick from the 25-yard line assisted by midfielder Gabe Yoder. But the Trevians did not let up, relentlessly attacking and on the ball, scoring a second quick goal before being called back for offside. 

Minutes later, New Trier was able to use their patented counter attack with O’Neill on the ball, as he dribbled in open space past midfield before dishing it to an open Cole Driscoll, a junior, on the right wing, as the junior attacker hammered home the Trevs’ second goal and doubled the lead. 

After halftime, the Trevians continued their dominance, with senior captain and defender Kevin Farina dribbling through the Lyons Township defense before flicking it past the goalkeeper and putting the Trevians up 3-0.

“Being the fourth Farina to play for NTBS, it was great to bring home the title for the program, and deliver like that,” Farina said.

Lyons was able to net a goal of their own and break up the clean sheet for the Trevians before the final whistle blew and the Trevians were named champions. 

The victory capped the Trevians’ impressive season, as New Trier claimed the sectional and supersectional for the first time since 2009, finishing with a 23-1-2 record and a 3A state championship. 

“The boys were ready for all of the emotions that come with the state tournament. I’m just proud of our guys and very blessed to be able to do it at New Trier with the support of the school and athletic department,” Ravenscraft said. “It was truly surreal.”

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