St. Charles North center midfielder Phil LeGare is one of only a handful of North Stars soccer players who entered the season with varsity experience. The longtime Campton United club player spoke with Chronicle sports editor Jay Schwab for this week’s Weekend Chit-chat, in which he touched base on the North Stars’ 2-0 loss to Geneva on Tuesday, the team’s early-season growing paints and Friday’s East-North football game. The following is an edited transcript:
How tough was that Geneva loss to take?
It was pretty tough to take. I know from the standpoint of us as a team, we work very hard and we try our best to work together and sometimes it doesn’t work out as we planned. The two goals they scored on us were not necessarily the goals we particularly wanted to be scored on. It was just unfortunate mistakes throughout the whole field. It was difficult to sink in and it took a while, especially for me, to get over, because I knew that was an important game.
Realistically, didn’t a lot of you guys think there would be growing pains with this group this year?
Realistically, yes. I know everybody has mentioned we are a new team together. Most of us players are new to the team, actually. There are only like five, six of us that are returning. There’s definitely growing pains going along with the season with learning how to play off of each other. Communication is a thing we are constantly working on for sure, but there’s growing pains involved in this season. We’re gradually and gradually getting over the pains and working together to get better as a team and kind of build that chemistry up together.
If you had to put your finger on one or two areas that most urgently need to be cleaned up, what would you say?
Communication is a really important part of the whole sport in general. That’s one of the things we really need to work on is our communication throughout the field, just all over the field really. ... Another thing is like what coach (Eric) Willson was saying before is our soccer IQ, knowing our shape and knowing where to be at certain times, but that also comes with experience as well.
Coach made a commment that you guys also need to realize what a rivalry game, what a Tri-Cities game means. Can you detect a different feel in those types of matchups?
I definitely can, personally. I feel like there’s a higher intensity, especially in the environment at the stadium. There’s a higher intensity kind of feel all over the field on both the Geneva and our side. Like I said before, we’re a new team so most kids, this was their first Tri-Cities rivalry game, so they’re starting to get that the intensity needs to be high and we need to go all-in those games because obviously we want to succeed in being top in our Tri-Cities.
With guys like (Justin) Stanko, (Kyle) Swanson, is this one of the tallest soccer teams that you’ve seen?
Oh, yes, that’s for sure. Most of the teams we’ve encountered, kids are a few inches taller than I am, and I’m 5-11. So definitely compared to the teams we’ve encountered, Stanko and Swanson are two of the tallest kids I’ve seen on the pitch.
Do soccer players get caught up in the East-North football hype, too?
I would say yes. Going to North is not just about supporting soccer, it’s about supporting other sports as well, and all of us want our football team to succeed as a whole. I would hope and I would feel that football players feel the same way as we do toward [our] success.
How’s the new school year been going overall? Anything that’s been especially notable to start it off?
Not really. Just seems like a new year, new teachers, but other than that, I would say nothing really is going on except a new season, new opportunities to succeed in both education and the soccer season. Me and my teammates want to take full advantage of those opportunities.