Boys Varsity Soccer vs Prospect Recap

Niles West varsity boys soccer team in a huddle.

By Aila Durakovic, Social Media Editor

The Niles West boys varsity soccer team ran into playoffs on Tuesday, Oct. 22, against Prospect high school with a record of 10-3-4. Unfortunately, the boys lost in penalties and just like that, the season was officially over.

Varsity had an outstanding performance throughout the season with being undefeated at home. The playoff game finished in 1-1, went into overtime, and finished 6-5 in penalties. Penalties are the worst in deciding who takes the win. It’s all based on luck rather than what team played better.

Senior, captain, and center midfielder Ivan Kraljevic was sad to see such a great season end so quick along with his high school soccer career. What will always stand out to Kraljevic all the time spent with people who love the sport and pushed him to become better each and everyday of season.

“I think we played really well last night and were definitely the better team, but it was one of those games where the ball didn’t want to go in. We created many chances and contained most of the possession, but it just wouldn’t go in,” Kraljevic said. “It feels so weird knowing I will never be playing for this school again.”

Plenty of the players believed they outplayed Prospect and should have been the team going to regionals. Senior, captain, and center midfielder Ilija Jerinic strongly believes that throughout the season, the team secured important wins as well as improving from their few loses. Jerinic’s general view of the playoff game as a whole was that it was highly unlucky due to the fact that West was clearly the better team.

“It’s sad the season is over because I won’t be playing with these teammates anymore. I loved playing with them and just the overall experience of being a high school student athlete,” Jerinic said. “My favorite memory other than just being with my team was scoring the winning goal against Maine South. It was a very important conference win and I was happy not only for myself, but my team.”

None of the boys are satisfied with the sudden end to the season, but returning players are seeking positivity for the upcoming season. Junior, and center defender Dylan Alic has a great reflection of this season. Although he’s upset about the loss of not only the game, but also his teammates, he sees a bright future for the following season.

“I created such a strong bond with each player on this team and it’s so sad to see our season already come to an end. I would say we had a very positive season and every one of us came out as a better player. By far, my favorite memory was beating Maine South after being down 1-0,” Alic said. “Next season, I’m hoping to win more games, make it to sectionals, and play with amazing teammates.”

The season finished with a record of 10-4-4. It’s safe to say Niles West boys varsity soccer 2019 left their mark. Even though they didn’t make it far, this team won’t be forgotten. The chemistry between the teammates was visible on and off the field. It was clear to see that they were a well trained and developed team. The season is now officially over and all that can be done is working even harder to go farther next season.