WINNETKA — The North Shore Country Day boys soccer team waited nearly 11 months for a chance at a rematch with Parker, but just hours before the game, the Raiders found out they would have to wait even longer.
Parker’s athletic department canceled all outdoor games on Sept. 10 due to the high temperatures.
The teams last met in the 2012 Class 1A sectional final, a match Parker won 3-0 after a scoreless first half.
“I think our boys feel we owe them one,” North Shore coach Kyle Jones said.
There’s no lack of familiarity between the two squads, which are both members of the Independent School League and played to a 3-3 tie in their lone regular-season match a year ago.
“They’re basically the same team (as a year ago),” North Shore sophomore forward Will Lawler said. “They’re going to be really good.”
“They have some really good players that we’ve been playing against since middle school,” Lawler continued. “They’ve been playing together since then, and we know them well.”
Lawler, one of North Shore’s leading scorers last season, was absent from the sectional final because of a torn ACL.
The recent history between the two teams has added intensity to their matches.
“There are a lot of cards (when we play),” North Shore sophomore midfielder Ben Potter said. “And it’s not just for chirping after the play. They’re physical games.”
North Shore, with just two seniors on the roster, looked like an improved side after a 3-1-1 start to the season. It earned a 1-1 draw with North Chicago, a team it lost to 3-1 in 2012.
“We were ready for them on Tuesday,” Jones said.
Now the Raiders have to wait until Oct. 10 for the most anticipated matchup of the season. That makes the clash with Parker the final conference game for North Shore.
“Depending on the results,” Jones said, “there may be more to play for, more on the line.”
Now North Shore has to take care of business during its conference schedule. Jones said there’s no reason to expect a letdown.
“Any conference game is a big game,” he said. “We treat every game the same way.”
There was no faltering on Sept. 12 when North Shore defeated non-conference opponent Christian Liberty Academy 5-2 to pick up its fourth win. But the Raiders have nine games left before the Parker game, the matchup that now has the potential to mean even more for North Shore.