PARK RIDGE -- New Trier bounced back from its first loss of the season and remained perfect in Central Suburban League South Division play with a 3-0 shutout of host Maine South on Tuesday night.
The Trevians, ranked ninth in the Chicagoland Soccer Top 25, improved their record to 11-1-1, 3-0-0. New Trier’s previous league victories came against March 20 vs. Niles West (a 2-0 decision) and April 4 against Glenbrook North (3-1). Maine South dropped its league opener and now stands at 5-2-3 overall.
New Trier scored twice in the first 38 minutes and iced the game 16 minutes later.
Chicagoland Soccer All-Staters Lida Dodge and Josie Noble led the way with a goal and an assist apiece to share the MVP of the Match honor. Nora Westol scored the final goal of the evening; Sybil Evans recorded an assist.
After playing great competition April 8-13 in four games in its Lou Malnati's Deep Dish Classic, the Trevians got a four-day break from competition. They were ready for Maine South.
"I really liked how we played across the board," New Trier coach Jim Burnside said. "We were composed and (Maine South) was an athletic team that comes flying at you. We did a good job of withstanding their pressure.
“I thought our girls in the midfield were composed on the ball and connected on their passes, switched fields and did what we asked them to do.
“Our backline did what they needed to do to hold strong and be aware of (Maine South's) numbers.
"I do feel like were fresh but feel like we're a little battle-tested playing against good teams. We're starting to see the experience 12 to 13 games in that we want from the kids that have played. Now they’re starting to put things into play and knowing each other a little bit better. We also saw some good thing things from our younger players."
Senior Frankie Williams made a strong impact off the bench. She contributed to a solid performance from the midfielders.
"I was a little nervous at first, but it's easy to get comfortable when you're in the game for a while and get warmed-up" Williams said. "It's really fun to be in this group, and we play at a really high level. You get in the mix of it, and it's fun to compete. It really challenges your own playing. I haven't played at this level before, but being here wants me to work harder."
The opener came in the 26th minute after New Trier missed on several earlier opportunities. Evans sent a corner kick in front of the goal where Noble found it and headed it past Maine South keeper Payton Ranalli.
"It's always good to score a goal on a header, because it's fun," said Noble, who has knocked in three of her four goals off her noggin, "It always depends on the player you're against. I saw her kind of drop off, and I was left open."
The Trevians spent some extra time in practice working on its set pieces. It clearly paid off Tuesday.
"it's one of our big things (working in practice), Noble said. "We work on them knowing the chances will come and to finish them."
Noble assisted on the second New Trier tally. Her 38th minute pass went to teammate Dodge, who fired a straight-on shot into the goal from just outside the box.
"I think that I have a good shot. When I'm open I try to hit it, and I have the confidence to do it," said Dodge who tallied her eighth goal of the season. "The team helps me so much with the way we move the ball around. It’s what got me open for the shot."
Teamwork is one of New Trier’s strengths.
"This team is so close, all of us. We just love to be around each other and keep improving," Noble said. "We just love spending time together hanging out on and off the field."
The junior just missed a second goal on a shot that hit the crossbar in the second half. The rebound went right to Westol, who didn’t waste her good fortune and concluded the scoring in the 54th minute.
Maine South had chances to score, but the New Trier defense, which included starters Kennedy Colegrove, Clara Deliduka and Lydia Vassallo, protected keeper Caroline Hague (five saves) and the clean-sheet. The shutout was the seventh of the season for the Trevians.
Maine South produced several strong runs up the field and created some chances in the final third.
"Good game and New Trier was a strong team," Maine South coach Jerome Crawford said. “(New Trier) played well, and they run great set plays. We fought hard throughout the match. We will try to take away that effort and bring it to the rest of our CSL schedule."
Maine South hosts league-mate and eighth-ranked Evanston in a must-win game to stay in the title hung at 7 p.m. Thursday.
New Trier saw its 11-game unbeaten streak to start the season end in the Deep Dish Classic semifinals with a 1-0 loss to no. 3 Lyons April 13.
The Trevians next assignment is the 24-team Naperville Invitational. They host no. 18 Hinsdale Central at 7 p.m. Thursday. The final game of group play follows against Fenwick at home Saturday at noon.
Next week, prior to a hoped-for berth in the Naperville InvitationaI knockout stage, New Trier travels for a date at archrival Evanston. A win in the 4:45 p.m. April 25 match between currently undefeated league teams would likely decide the conference winner.
Chicagoland Soccer MVP of the Match: Lida Dodge, sr., MF, New Trier; Josie Noble, jr., MF, New Trier
Referees: Jas Zahirovic (center); Justin O'Dryan; Romel Benyamin
NT-Josie Noble (Sybil Evans) 26
NT-Lida Dodge (Josie Noble) 38
NT-Nora Westol (Lida Dodge) 54