Whenever a team advances to the IHSA finals, it doesn't need a whole lot of extra motivation to fire it up for the big task at hand.
But when a team has only lost once all season and then gets a semifinals match against the team that beat them, trying to get a little revenge seems to be a given. That's the situation that New Trier finds itself in when it meets Glenbrook North in Friday's 7:30 p.m. Class 3A semifinals match at Hoffman Estates High School.
The Central Suburban League South Division teams met on Sept. 11 when visiting Glenbrook North captured a 2-1 victory. After playing to a 1-1 draw with Maine South in their following match, coach Matt Ravenscraft's Trevians have been on a roll, closing out regular-season play with nine-straight victories and then extending the streak to 14 wins in a row heading into the final weekend of the season.
New Trier, which is 21-1-2, played a 2-2 draw with Hinsdale Central in the match before its lone defeat and that put a halt to a seven-match winning streak that kicked off its successful season.
This is the first time that the Trevians have advanced to the IHSA Finals since IHSSCA Hall of Fame coach Craig Fairbairn brought the last of his six qualifying teams to state in 2009, when it lost 2-0 in the semifinals to Lyons and then beat Edwardsville 2-1 for third place in Class 3A.
Fairbairn had a 21-1-1 Class 3A championship team in 2008 and a 21-4-0 squad that won the large-school title in 2006. The Trevians, who've assured themselves of their ninth trophy in 13 Finals trips, hope to advance to the championship match for the fifth time, an accomplishment that was first achieved at New Trier in 1979 and then again in 1982 by IHSSCA Hall of Fame coach Tony Schinto.
New Trier has outscored its opponents by a 45-9 margin during its 14-match winning streak, which includes a 16-4 advantage in five postseason matches. The Trevians have recorded nine shutouts and allowed just one goal in 11 other matches.
Ravenscraft, who has a 130-26-19 record in his eighth season with the Trevians, has his winningest team this year. Last season, New Trier went 18-2-5 and lost 1-0 to eventual third place finisher Stevenson in the supersectional.
The postseason has featured plenty of thrillers for New Trier; it has won three of its last four matches by one goal. It advanced to the Final Four following a 2-1 victory over St. Charles East on Wednesday at the St. Charles North Supersectional after beating Leyden 2-1 to win the Evanston Sectional championship.
The supersectional was pushed back one day due to inclement weather. New Trier got a goal from sophomore forward Calyx Hoover off of an assist from senior midfielder Oliver Fernandez early in the second half to open the scoring.
After Giuseppe Avendano got the equalizer for the Saints in the 56th minute, the Trevians responded less than a minute later when senior defender Kevin Farina scored the game- winner following an assist from senior midfielder Aidan O'Neill.
O'Neill is the top scorer for the Trevians with 20 goals and also leads the way with eight assists. He is an IHSSCA All-State selection.
Other top scorers are Hoover (9 goals, 5 assists), senior forward Nicky Mekhitarian (8 goals), junior forward Noah Capocchi (5 goals, 2 assists), senior forward Ethan Green (5 goals, 1 assist), Farina (4 goals, 4 assists), senior defender Liam Myers (4 goals, 3 assists), Fernandez (3 goals, 6 assists), junior midfielder Cole Driscoll (3 goals, 5 assists) and senior midfielder Ian Vichnick (5 assists).
Senior goalkeeper Shafer Brahm has an 0.71 GAA with 62 saves in 14 matches. Junior Thomas Terry has an 0.54 GAA with 52 saves in 13 matches.
Other Trevians who received IHSSCA postseason recognition were All-Section selections Farina and Myers, Sportsmanship Award winner Fernandez and All-Academic recipient Vichnick.
Captains for the Trevians are Farina, Myers and Vichnick. Assistant coaches for New Trier are Chris Van Den Bergh and Ryan Loris.