Heartbreak for boys soccer in regional final loss to to top-seed Evanston


Efram Stewart

Junior Alan Zavala takes a throw-in during Lane’s regional final loss to Evanston.

By Aidan Sadovi, Managing Editor

Lane’s state playoff road ended on a disappointing note, as they fell to one-seed Evanston in penalties after a hard-fought 1-1 draw on Oct. 22. 

Lane, the eight-seed in the 4A New Trier sectional, came to suburban high school Leyden Township last Friday off the back of a win against 11-seed Leyden in the regional semifinals. 

After a somewhat disappointing season, Lane hoped to extend their season into sectional play with an upset win over Evanston.

For the first 10-15 minutes, Evanston held most of the possession and created the most opportunities. Then, Lane came to cement more of a foothold with the ball. 

The only goal of the first half, from Senior Ryan Hargrove in the 25th minute, was emblematic of much of the play: strong defending from Lane resulting in positive counter attacking opportunities. 

The game would remain 1-0 Lane through much of the rest of the first and second half, however.   

Through the second half, Lane played conservative and stable soccer, keeping possession and trying not to give up a goal against an increasingly threatening Evanston offense. 

At times, there were only a couple Lane players pressing and running at the Evanston defenders and midfield, as Lane threw numbers behind the defense to keep a grip on a precarious lead. 

But hearts were finally broken in the last minute of the game, as the Evanston equalizer from captain Will Travis came off a controversial corner kick. 

An unlucky deflection in a contentious penalty box meant Lane’s lead was gone, and extra time loomed large. 

Both teams were drained through much of extra time, as much of the play was unfruitful and conservative. The only chance for a victory, and a continuation of Lane’s season, came with penalty kicks. 

Evanston started off auspiciously, scoring their first, and Lane missed their first. 

Both teams traded shots and saves until goalkeeper Jeremiah Higgins stepped up for the final shot. He missed, handing Evanston the victory. 

Lane ended the season 9-6-2, going 5-2-1 in Chicago Public Premier North Conference play. Evanston played to see another day, setting up a clash with Central Suburban League foe Glenbrook South in the state sectional semifinals.