WAUKEGAN — Tim Moriarty jogged off the field gingerly soon after Evanston senior Oli Jacques scored a game-winning goal against the New Trier boys soccer team on Sept. 30.
The senior center back was injured when he cleared a ball in the Trevians’ end prior to the goal. Moriarty drove his right foot into the ball first, and then smashed the top of his foot into an Evanston player’s spikes on his follow-through.
Moriarty couldn’t physically get back into position before Jacques’ goal gave the Wildkits a 2-1 lead, and it seemed unlikely that he would be able to play for a Central Suburban South championship against Waukegan the following day.
He did, though.
“The whole top of my foot is bruised, but I tried to play as much as I could,” Moriarty said after New Trier beat the Bulldogs 2-0 on Oct. 1 to win the CSL South title.
“I’m surprised he made it more than five minutes,” New Trier coach Wes Molyneaux said afterward. “Our plan was to give him five minutes and see how he did, and I was impressed with his ability to play through his pain. He’s in a lot of pain.”
Moriarty played the entire first half against the Bulldogs. He seemed more agile than he did during warmups, and he played well. Moriarty won several important headers against Waukegan senior forward Jonathan Rojas — the Bulldogs’ most dangerous player against New Trier — and blocked a pair of shots in the first half.
More than that, he showed why he’s meant so much to the Trevians this year.
“He’s a very good leader,” New Trier senior forward Duncan Gill said. “He’s a vocal leader. He organizes the defense, and organizes the midfield and the forwards, too; he talks to us, tells us what’s happening. It’s great to have a trustworthy voice back there that you can listen to and you know he’s giving you the right idea for what to do next. He’s a pure ball winner. He’s stopped so many goals — just chasing kids down, winning tackles. He’s the MVP of that defense.”
The Trevians took a 1-0 lead into halftime on a header scored by Gill and went ahead 2-0 when junior forward Spencer Farina scored in the match’s 52nd minute.
New Trier’s second goal seemed to clinch the game in the moment, as Waukegan continued to struggle to get possession and create chances throughout the second half.
It also ended Moriarty’s night. He was substituted from the game and watched the Trevians hold on to win the program’s first CSL South title since 2008 from the bench as he rested his bruised foot.
“Once we got the lead, we took him out because we need to save him for the playoffs,” Gill said. “He’s so important to our team. It’s tough to watch him play in the pain he’s in, but he gets the job done.”