Boys Soccer: From quarantine to conference champs


Via @nnvikingsoccer on twitter

After a two-week mandatory quarantine, boys soccer returns with a fury to gain 7 points in three games to become CSL North Champions. 

Tuesday, March 30 with 2 minutes left in the game, varsity soccer conceded a game-winning goal to Deerfield High School. However, the victory would not be the only thing the Vikings lost that night. Two days after the match, both teams were made aware of a positive COVID-19 test from the Deerfield side, which led to a mandatory two week quarantine for players who were deemed within “close-contact”. A two-week pause in team activities is dangerous for any team, but in an already severely IHSA shortened season (see article on IHSA season), 2 weeks was a third of the season. 

Both teams still had three conference games to play, and would only have four days to play them, meaning keeping up physical fitness would be necessary to have a chance at winning conference. “I gave my body time to rest, because I knew we would have to be at our top game to play three games in such a short time period” said senior goalkeeper Dominick B. 

Well, resting was helpful. The boys returned this past Wednesday, and on their first day back as a team, traveled to Maine West for a conference game, and emphatically re-entered the season with a 6-0 result. Deerfield returned with a 0-0 result against Highland Park. 

Thursday night, only 24 hours after their first game, both teams were back in action, with the Vikings hosting Vernon Hills at home, and Deerfield traveling to Maine East. Both the Vikings and Warriors (Deerfield) earned 1-0 results, which put the Vikings point tally at 9 (3 wins, 1 loss) and the Warriors at 10 (3 wins, 1 tie). Saturday morning, the Vikings traveled to Maine East, having scored 11 conference goals and only allowing 1, which came in their loss to Deerfield. Deerfield entered their final game against Vernon Hills having scored 4, and allowing 1. 

The Vikings ended up their season with a 0-0 result against Maine East, amid a flurry of red cards and missed calls. Their tie put the pressure on Deerfield, who would have to win or tie to win conference. 

Deerfield ended up suffering a 2-1 defeat, which granted Niles North the conference championship!

Junior midfielder Timmy K spoke on the journey the team took, saying, “It all paid off because in the end, we were all able to play the seniors’ final Varsity soccer game together, and win our conference to give the seniors a solid farewell.”

Although the team had a relatively small number of seniors (7), their presence will be missed, as each player started every game this season. However, the Vikings will be looking forward to a very promising Class of ‘22 and ‘23 to help them repeat the success of the COVID season. Assuming the IHSA returns to a Pre-COVID-19 schedule, the boys will enjoy a short offseason until they are slated to return in August of 2021.