NORTHFIELD — Scoring goals didn’t come easy for the New Trier boys soccer team a year ago.
That’s not the case this season.
New Trier ran its record to 5-0 with a 3-1 win Wednesday over Wheeling in the Northside College Showcase. It was the fifth time in five games that the Trevians scored at least two goals.
“Last year, we just couldn’t find the back of the net,” said New Trier coach Wes Molyneaux, whose team lost to Wheeling 1-0 in the Class 3A Evanston Sectional semifinals last season. “We’ve been much better this year. If we average two or three goals a game, we will be in good shape.”
Junior forward Spencer Farina and senior forward Duncan Gill have been the stars of the offense so far. The two have combined for five goals and seven assists. New Trier has scored 14 goals through Wednesday.
The 6-3 Farina and 6-2 Gill each have at least a goal or an assist in all five games. Farina, the team leader in assists with five, scored his second goal of the season with 2 minutes, 11 seconds, left in the first half Wednesday to stake the Trevians to a 2-0 lead at intermission. Gill, who leads the team with three goals, then assisted on junior midfielder Michael Gallo’s goal midway through the second half. Senior midfielder Colin Egerter scored his first goal of the season in the 20th minute.
“It took us awhile to get going [Wednesday],” Molyneaux said. “We didn’t have that spark or energy early, and we were not playing very crisp. But we showed in the second half that we can play.”
Both Farina and Gill were in the rotation a year ago, and Farina said there’s a noticeable difference in how the offense is playing this season.
“A lot of us have played together a long time,” said Farina, who’s known Gill since before high school. “We have more chemistry this year, and it shows in the way we move the ball and break down the defense.”
Molyneaux said Farina has the talent to dominate a game, something he proved Wednesday. His goal, off an assist from sophomore midfielder Michael McCue, was a result of an individual effort to create space for himself inside the penalty box. Farina’s laser shot to the upper right part of the net from close range gave the goalie no chance of making the save.
“He certainly has it in him to [be the best player on the field],” Molyneaux said. “He was feeling it [Wednesday].”
After searching for his role on the team last year as a junior, Gill has been an offensive force for the Trevians in the first five games.
“He struggled last year to find his niche as a player,” said Molyneaux, who used Gill at both forward and defender last season. “But he told me in the offseason that he wanted to focus on being a forward instead of playing in the back. I supported him in that endeavor, and it’s worked out well.”