Soccer Team Defeats Rival Wheaton Academy and Captures 3rd at State
Coach Joel Zielke

The start of each soccer season always brings great hope and anticipation of what might be possible with the team. As much dreaming of what might be, it also causes many opportunities for reflection and often leaves you with more questions than answers. Did we do enough to prepare? Are we ready? What obstacles will we face and will we be resilient enough as a group to overcome them? After a great run in 2021 that included an 18-game unbeaten streak culminating in a 4th place State finish, motivation ran high with this group to make a return trip back to State in 2022.

We knew 2022 was going to be a special season with the opening of Trojan Stadium. This project had been dreamed about for many years and the 2022 team would have the honor of being the first to compete in it. Construction delays challenged us the first part of the season as we were unable to use it and we spent our first 10 games on the road. 

Since our first conference championship in 1991 we have won a total of 7 Conference Titles, 12 Regional Titles, 8 Sectional Titles, 6 Super-Sectional Titles, 2 State Championships, 3 State Runner-Ups and most recently a 3rd Place finish this past fall.

After months of watching this project take shape and patience tested daily as we peered over the construction fence, we were thrilled to open with a packed Trojan Stadium on September 17 with a 4-1 win over crosstown rival ICCP. Trojan Stadium is a  state-of-the-art facility that will enable us to meet our mission to train young men and women as bold leaders. It will provide a competitive edge with daily opportunities as we train and prepare for our games. It has quickly paid dividends and also allowed Timothy to host and win boys soccer Regionals and Sectionals just weeks after opening. There is nothing like playing in front of a packed stadium of Trojan fans!

An exciting 2-1 win in Super Sectionals earned the Trojans a trip back to the EastSide Centre in East Peoria to compete in the 1A IHSA Final Four. After conceding a goal in the 8th minute in Friday’s semifinal matchup v Quincy Notre Dame, the Trojans kept the game close including a stretch of 20 minutes early in the second half that saw several offensive opportunities. However, after failing to score, Qunicy responded with 3 goals in a short stretch in the 66th, 72nd, and 73rd minutes. The Trojans battled until the end and got one back on junior Caleb Hoekstra’s goal in the 79th minute to finish the scoring at 4-1. 

On Saturday, the Trojans faced a familiar foe in conference rival Wheaton Academy for the 3rd place game. This game went back and forth most of the afternoon. Wheaton Academy opened the scoring in the first half, but Timothy responded just 3 minutes later with junior Caleb Hoekstra on the end of Cam Baker’s free kick from 35 yards out. Both teams saw chances turned away with some great goalkeeping by sophomore Peter Buikema through the remainder of the game. The 1-1 tie resulted in a PK shootout to determine the winner. 

Timothy connected on 3 kicks from the spot — senior Jake Firnsin, senior Cam Baker, and freshman Marc Gamble. Senior goalkeeper Kyle Steiner stood tall in net and saw 3 Wheaton misses leading to a 3rd place State trophy! What an exciting way to finish off another great season!

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