After a 1-0 loss in the Class 1A super-sectionals last year, Francis Parker’s boys soccer team had lofty goals this season.
“We didn’t perform as well as we should have and that definitely amped our guys up for this year,” coach Neil Curran said. “It lit a fire under them.”
With nine returning starters, the Colonels earned a 15-2-6 record this season and placed third at the Class 1A state tournament.
They fell 3-0 to eventual champion Waterloo Gibault Nov. 1 in the state semifinal.
But Parker bounced back with a 6-0 win over Genoa-Kingston in the third-place match.
Curran attributed much of the team’s success to Parker’s girls team’s Class 1A second-place finish in the spring.
“It set the bar a bit higher for our guys. This was one of the most complete teams I’ve ever coached,” said Curran, whose squad placed third for the second time since 2011.
The team spent much of the summer playing pickup games at DePaul University.
Senior forward Noah Wolff, a three-sport athlete, led the team with 22 goals.
“Noah’s a tremendous athlete. He easily could’ve easily had 40 goals this year,” Curran said.
Other standouts include senior Alex Trickett, who was named to the all-sectional team, and senior J.P. Pereira-Webber, one of the top goalkeepers in Class 1A.
The team graduates nine seniors — all starters — but brings back 13 underclassmen.
“We’re basically starting over next year,” Curran said. "But I think our guys have a bright future."