Evanston tops Niles North, advances to regional final
Evanston's Aaron Stone (23) watches as Niles North's Danny Joseph (22) directs the ball during their soccer match on Tuesday, Oct. 16. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 17, 2012 3:18PM
SKOKIE — The Evanston boys soccer team used its strong midfield to push past Niles North 3-1 in the Class 3A Niles North Regional semifinal Tuesday.
The eighth-seeded Wildkits controlled the run of play for the first nine minutes, but the No. 11 Vikings struck first, 13 minutes into the game. Senior forward Danny Joseph fell to the ground in a pile, but was able to scoop the ball over the Wildkits goalie to take an early 1-0 lead.
“It gave (our guys) a tremendous amount of confidence,” Niles North coach Yoon Lee said. “They were riding that confidence, but you know with a talented team like Evanston they were going to come back.”
The Vikings started to create more opportunities after the goal, but the Wildkits did respond. A critical error near the goal cost Niles North as an attempted clearance found the foot of Wildkits forward Oli Jacques and the sophomore buried the shot past a sprawling Danny Miranda to tie the game at 1.
“It wasn’t a big win, but it was a big psychological win going into the second half,” Evanston coach Franz Calixte said. “(Niles North) weathered our storm in the first half and (having a lead) would have given them some confidence heading into the second half.”
From there the Wildkits took over control and created opportunity after opportunity at the end of the first half and beginning of the second half.
The pressure got to be too much for the Vikings’ defense and a beautiful set of passes from the Wildkits’ midfielders sprung senior Daniel Lev down the right sideline. The crisp pass onto the foot of senior midfielder Alejandro Millan was easily placed around Miranda and gave Evanston a 2-1 advantage in the 53rd minute.
The Vikings pressed for the equalizer and despite numerous chances, the Wildkits countered and Lev was able to ice the game with Evanston’s third goal.
Evanston advances to play in the regional final at 11 a.m. Saturday.