The folks who live on Williams Avenue in Deerfield finally are able to sleep in.
With Joey Calistri now living in Evanston, the neighbors no longer wake up to the sound of him shooting soccer balls off the wooden fence in his yard before school.
"One neighbor moved, but I don't think it was because of that," Calistri said. "Another one kids me to this day about having to make numerous complaints to my parents."
They should be pleased to know the skills Calistri noisily honed in the neighborhood have been heard from in his first year of college soccer.
With four goals, Calistri is the leading scorer for 18th-ranked Northwestern (6-0-2), which takes a 17-game regular-season unbeaten streak into Wednesday night's game against DePaul (2-5-1) at Lakeside Field in Evanston.
Coach Tim Lenahan hoped Calistri could announce himself with that kind of bang when Lenahan put him in the striker spot vacated by the graduation of Oliver Kupe. That meant a freshman was taking over for the high scorer on a Wildcats team that last year won the school's first Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles.
"There was a little added pressure," Calistri said. "With that, I was able to push myself even more because I knew the responsibility I had. I wanted to prove to my teammates I was good enough to be on the field with them."
Not since Glenbard East's Matt Eliason in 2007 has a Northwestern freshman soccer player made such a big impact. Eliason went on to become the leading scorer, goals and points, in Wildcats history.
This isn't the first time Calistri has been thrown into such a situation. He is the only soccer player to have started all four years at Deerfield High School.
"We knew Joey had the ability to score, but what is really neat about him is he just works and works and works," Lenahan said. "You can't coach scoring ability, and you can't coach work. We are just trying to refine the rough edges."
As the lone striker in Northwestern's 4-5-1 alignment, Calistri finds himself challenged by trying to hold the ball against older, stronger defenders. While he still is getting what Lenahan calls "man muscles," the 5-foot-9, 150-pound Calistri needs all the guile he can muster.
"It forces me to be more creative off the ball, to make better runs," he said.
Calistri began college after several months with the Fire's 17/18 youth development team. Although he started just seven of 24 matches, usually entering at halftime, Calistri led the team with 16 goals — more than any of the highly touted players under contract to the Fire.
For all that, he has yet to get a berth with a U.S. national team.
"It's a little frustrating, but it doesn't really get to me," he said. "I was never worried about making the national team. I was just worried about playing the best I can and helping whatever team I'm on win."
And an 18-year-old soccer player could do a lot worse than Northwestern now that Lenahan, in his 12th season as head coach, has turned a perennial loser into a consistent winner. The team that had gone winless for 35 games in 2000-01 and won just four conference games in its first 13 Big Ten seasons now has made the NCAA tournament six of the last eight years.
Northwestern lost only two starters from last year's conference champions.
"I still think of us as the little engine that could," Lenahan said.