Close-knit New Trier seniors strive to end season on high note

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NORTHFIELD — The New Trier boys soccer team’s seniors have a chemistry and collective skill that are apparent when watching the Trevians, who have been ranked in the top 10 by the Sun-Times all season

One other characteristic stands out when attending a New Trier game.

“The most important thing is they love soccer,” New Trier coach Wes Molyneaux said. “I think that comes through when you see them play on the field — the energy and passion they have.

“And the reason they love soccer so much and love playing is they’ve been playing together since they were 8 and 9 years old.”

The Trevians’ starting lineup features 10 seniors — forward Spencer Farina is the lone junior — and several of those seniors have been playing together for more than a decade. Midfielder Jamey Minturn is a piece of that core group, and so too are goalkeeper Jonathan Jaggard, midfielder Steven Childs and forward Duncan Gill, who’s the team’s leading scorer.

The seniors’ chemistry is evident on the field.

“I can make a run and Colin [Egerter, a senior midfielder] or Jamey can kind of know where I’m going,” Gill said. “They can just play a ball, expecting me to be there. There’s a trust.”

Jaggard added: “Everyone is so tight. We’ll all hang out with each other. We’re friends on and off the field. It shows so much.”

On the field, the members of the senior class have spent a ton of time together over the last four years. The majority of them play for FC United and they’ve grown together at New Trier. None of the current seniors were pulled up to varsity when they were underclassmen in order to allow them to grow and blossom as a unit, Minturn said.

Off the field, they spend a lot of time together. Pick-up soccer games during the summer have been commonplace, and so too are trips to Chipotle.

Minturn said the finality of this season dawned on the seniors very early. As a result, they spent a lot of time strength training and working on their fitness in the offseason.

Jaggard, senior center back Tim Moriarty, Minturn and Gill all agreed that seeing the Trevians’ girls soccer team win a state title this spring was a source of inspiration for the senior class.

“A lot of us went down to that game and drove together, and the car ride back, we were just talking about how amazing that would be if that was us — and they were the ones watching,” Jaggard said.

Winning a state championship is the ultimate goal, but there are a number of things to try to accomplish between now and then. The Trevians started 3-0 in the Central Suburban South and began the week in position to win a conference title, with a game against Evanston on Tuesday and one at Waukegan on Wednesday.

Once the regular season concludes, they’ll try to produce a satisfying end to their time spent playing high school soccer together.

“They have a hunger and a focus for what they really want to accomplish this year,” Molyneaux said. “They really want a sectional championship and … then get to play in that supersectional game for an opportunity to go downstate.”

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