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Season preview: New Trier

By Bobby Narang, 03/11/24, 4:00PM CDT


The seasons are vastly different these days – the Chicago area just logged its fifth-warmest meteorological winter (December through February) in history.

However, the forecast for New Trier girls soccer rarely changes.
The upcoming campaign equals another season of high expectations.

Just look at their recent history dating back to Bob Ward’s final three seasons and since Jim Burnside took over the program in the 1996-97 season. Under Burnside, the Trevians have won six state championships, placed second three times and finished third in three seasons, including in 2019.

However, New Trier has suffered a dry spell in the last three seasons with Class 3A supersectional loses in 2021 and 2023, and a sectional semifinal loss in 2022.

Senior midfielder/forward Sybil Evans, in her fourth year on the varsity, said she’s driven to finish her career on a high note.

“From the start of the preseason all the seniors have been ecstatic for the season to start,” said Evans, who was recognized on the Chicagoland Soccer All-State Watch List last spring. “We have done a lot of reflecting on our past seasons to think what we can do better and what worked well. We have talked to the team and coaches a lot about our goals, because we all want to be on the same page. Personally, after everything is done, I want to look back on the season with no regrets and be proud of my career at New Trier High School.”

Senior Charlotte Dellin, a forward who will also play her fourth season on the varsity, echoed Evans.

“I think I can speak for all of us when I say we’re incredibly motivated and have a huge drive to prove ourselves this season,” Dellin said. “We want to prove that post-COVID New Trier is a team that can get over the hump of a supersectional. We’ve lost in double overtime of a supersectional twice in my career here. 

“I expect that we’re going to be good this year, but at the same time, I also expect that we’re going to have really good competition. We always play a tough schedule.”

Senior centerback Clara Deliduka, a third-season varsity player, said the seniors are motivated to play their best throughout the season. The Trevians (23-3-1) lost to Libertyville 1-0 in double overtime in the supersectionals last season, a defeat that continues to sting.

“Given that the five of us returning seniors have been playing together for so long, we’re determined to end the season by celebrating,” said the Chicagoland Soccer All-Stater. “The supersectional loss last year was devastating for us, because we had such a close-knit group. However, throughout preseason lifts, open gyms, tryouts and recent practices, the energy created from that game has been and continues to be the driving factor for us as a team, both returners and new members, to settle for nothing but success.”

Soon-to-be graduate Annie Paden, one of eight of the returning group of regular, 2023 starters and a four-year varsity player, said the loss to the Wildcats, who finished third in the Final Four, was a painful experience that’s pushed the seniors during the offseason.

“Last year’s loss was grueling and only fired us up for this year,” said All-State Watch List member Paden. “We have to keep moving forward. Our mindset and determination to win has not left and are heightened up this year. We have a crazy strong group. … It’s early, but this is a special group that has me excited to come to practice each day. The coaches have been really pushing us and have made these first few practices feel more productive than ever.”

Senior midfielder Josie Noble, another Chicagoland Soccer All-Stater, agreed: “Every senior on this team is motivated to help encourage the underclassmen to be their best. At this point, I hope that all of the work we put in during preseason to get everybody hyped up pays off. ... All of us are fired up. … We know how terrible it feels to get close to something you’ve worked toward all year and just let it slip away. We don’t want to be in that situation again.”

Classmate and midfielder Maria Petrakis is expected to make an impact for the Trevians from the middle of the park.

Burnside remembers his 2023 group as “a team in flux.

“I think we had 19 different starting lineups throughout last season, whether from injury, sickness or matchups” he said. “The team is definitely motivated. Every season they are motivated, but these girls, I have four girls who are four-year returning seniors. I haven’t had that since 2019. We have a lot of experience. I think our strengths are our depth and a lot of skill kids returning who have improved. 

“The new kids are adding great skills.”

Juniors set to make an impact are defenders Kennedy Colegrove, Christina Tobon and Olivia Wilson, defender/midfielder Elie Kotler and Watch List honorees defender Honor Dold and keeper Caroline Hague.

The sophomore class features defender Abby Morton, forward Quinn Brahm, midfielder Maeve Driscoll and midfielder/defender Eleni Kanellos.

Five freshmen will have the chance to become four-year varsity players: goalkeeper Annie Fowler, midfielders Addy Randall and Noa Boeing, and defenders Bea Cirulis and Claire Gallagher.

Seniors Jaime Elias (forward/midfielder) and Basie Shannon (defender/midfielder) are first-year varsity players who add experience and talent. Elias is a Texas Tech commit; Shannon signed with Idaho. 

“The strength is our depth, but also amazing is that our soccer IQ is real high,” Burnside said. “They’ve put in a lot of the work. We’re probably one of, if not the (physically) strongest, New Trier girls soccer team I’ve ever coached.

“In terms of team chemistry and supporting each other, we’re doing really well right now. Our team desire is really strong – these kids want to be the best they can be as individuals and as a team. That’s all you can ask for. If we can get everything out of them, we will be in good shape. 

“We also have a strong freshmen class coming in. If it all holds up, some of these freshmen will have an impact on the team. Our seniors are locked in and leading this team toward what’s going to be a fun and exciting season. These seniors are special. I think one of the best things about this team is we trust each other. Starting from a place of trust makes the team leaps and bounds better to start the season.”

Evans and Noble made a point to highlight the team’s competitiveness.

“Practice gets pretty heated when nobody wants to lose,” Noble said. “I know that will make our team even better in the long run. It also made practice super fun. Competitiveness has always been something that our coaching staff has preached to our program, but this year the environment is just electric. I’m looking forward to seeing what this team can do.”