By: Luke Drase
From the opening whistle, the New Trier Trevians put the pressure on the Maine South back line to win their opening game of the CSL South season 4-2.
In the first half of the game, New Trier dominated the possession of the ball in the midfield. This allowed allowed their fullbacks to push forward with authority, freeing up the middle of the pitch.
The relentless attack finally broke through in the 15th minute. The strong wing play opened up Will Felitto in the middle and the New Trier captain cooly slotted the ball across the line.
After that initial goal, the floodgates opened up for the Trevians as New Trier scored two more goals within five minutes of each other. The first came off a through ball that split the Maine South defense in half, giving Logan Weaver a one on one with the Hawks keeper, which he put away soundly.
The second goal came off a set piece. A New Trier free kick from just outside the penalty area was initially saved by the Maine South keeper, but the rebound was put away by Eric Plante which game New Trier a 3-0 lead heading into the half.
“The first half our attacking play was as good as it’s been all year,” said New Trier coach Matt Ravenscraft.
“We had good movement off the ball, we were anticipating the second and third pass well in our buildup play, and we were fortunate enough to get a few good looks at goal.”
Despite a sub-par first half performance, Maine South did not go quietly into the night. Just two minutes into the second half, the Hawks got on the board due to a misplay by backup keeper Sam Warden, who took over for an injured Sam Rutheford.
Warden seemed unsure whether to come out of his net to play a ball and Maine South’s Alessandro Corazzina pounced on the gift to give him the empty netter.
That celebration was short lived however. Just ten minutes later, New Trier regained their three goal advantage after Ryan Krueger raced past the entire Maine South defense and capped it off with a wonderful finish.
Krueger said: “I just saw a gaping space in the middle, I knew I could take it inside on my left foot, which they gave me pretty nicely. They were expecting me to keep going with my left so I just cut it back inside and was lucky enough to slide it into the far corner.”
After the Krueger goal, Maine South decided to throw everybody forward in hopes of a late comeback.
The all out attack paid off initially as Maine South was awarded a penalty which Corazzina converted, but a late red card to the Hawks killed any late momentum Maine South had going and the New Trier defense confidently finished off the game.
What was most impressive in the up and down affair was the depth of attacking options the Trevians possessed.
Each of New Triers four goals was scored by a different goal scorer, showing the incredible balance in the Trevians attack, something coach Ravenscraft was particularly proud of.
Ravenscraft said: “Early on in the season we had just a couple guys scoring goals and since that first week or so we started to see contributions from several more players. It’s nice because it gives guys confidence and guys are willing to pick up the slack if somebody is struggling.”
Both Maine South and New Trier will take on District 219 opponents, as the Hawks will face Niles West, and New Trier will take on Niles North.