ETHS girls soccer: Kits boot GBN, clinch CSL South championship

Jocelyn Leigh’s ability to score goals in bunches has pushed her to the top of the scoring list for Evanston’s soccer team this spring.

Tuesday, it pushed the Wildkits to even greater heights as a team.

Leigh struck for a pair of goals in the final two minutes of the first half – on her way to another hat trick – and helped deliver Evanston’s first Central Suburban League South division championship since 2016 with a 5-0 victory over previously unbeaten Glenbrook North.

The Wildkits, now 14-2-1 overall, face nemesis New Trier in Northfield Thursday in the division finale. The Trevians are also unbeaten in league play, but have tied twice and can’t catch ETHS in the standings now.

Tuesday’s statement win came in a showdown between two teams from the same league that have earned No. 1 sectional seeds for the Class 3A state tournament. The Illinois High School Association split up the postseason assignments in a different fashion this year, so GBN – No. 1 in the Warren Sectional grouping – could meet Evanston, the top seed at the New Trier Sectional – in a rematch at the New Trier Supersectional if both teams survive.

“We’d like to play GBN again in the super. We’d like to play anyone in the super !!! ” grinned Evanston head coach Stacy Salgado after her team’s biggest win of the season. “Our girls all knew this one meant a lot tonight. It was a very big win.

“Winning the conference shows the hard work they put in. It’s a baby step (to the state tournament series) and they deserve it. I think what separates this team from some of the others is their overall competitiveness. We have some of our top defenders going against our top attackers every day in practice, and they go at each other very hard. All 22 of them are like that. They have that inner drive and they don’t need any external push. ”

Leigh, a sophomore forward who has blended in seamlessly with a senior-laden squad, broke open a scoreless tie with a pair of goals in the last 1 minute, 52 seconds of the first half to be precise on a chilly and wet night at Lazier Field. Those two goals featured a combination of the sophomore’s power, stealth, speed and guile and broke the spirit of a GBN team that entered the showdown with a sparkling 14-0-1 record.

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