High school girls soccer: Depth, defense gives Beaver River unblemished record

Oct. 5—BEAVER FALLS — The Beaver River girls soccer team produces plenty of offense, but it's been dominant in all phases of the game this season.

Beaver River is the only remaining unbeaten Frontier League team, with a 12-0 overall mark and 10-0 in "C" Division play. The Beavers' offense comes from a variety of sources as five players have scored more than six goals so far.

Co-coach Tina Becker is spoiled for choices when it comes to where the team find their goals.

"They play together as a unit and they're always looking for who's in a better position, so they're very unselfish." said Becker, who shares coaching duties with Tracy Adams.

Beaver River averages 4.92 goals per game and has scored four or more goals in eight games this season.

Senior Kaylee Zehr leads the team with 17, but is glad her teammates can pitch in when needed.

"It's so nice when you don't have to count on one person to put the ball in the back of the net," Zehr said. "If someone isn't on the field at a given moment, we don't have to worry about what's going to happen without them there."

The Beavers' goal-scorers receive the majority of the headlines, but the squad also features a solid defense. Beaver River has given up just five goals this season for an average of 0.42 goals per game. The team has put together a four-game shutout streak and has achieved eight shutouts this year.

"We had a very strong defense last year and we only lost one senior from that team," senior defender Kaitlyn Kloster said. "I feel like we trust each other, we don't second-guess and back each other up."

Beaver River's defense is also stingy when it comes to giving up shots, as the team has allowed 16 shots in 12 games. Senior goalie Katelyn Adams still stays active even if she makes few saves.

"I just try to talk as much as I can, call out marking assignments and call out passes," Adams said.

The Beavers defense also plays a vital part in starting the offense with their collective speed and playmaking ability.

"They're definitely doing their job playing it out of the back instead of just kicking it out," Becker said. "The defense does more of trying to play out to the midfielders and the strikers instead of playing kickball."

The Beavers have withstood a couple of challenges this season. Beaver River edged Belleville Henderson, 1-0, on Sept. 17 and rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat Copenhagen, 4-3, two days later. Those games seemingly have given Beaver River a boost deep into the season.

"That (Copenhagen) win was enormous for us because we hadn't been challenged until then and we needed to be challenged to know that we aren't invincible," junior Kennedy Becker said.

Beaver River is aware of the challenge ahead in the Class C bracket once sectionals begin. Schools like Immaculate Heart Central, Mount Markham, Cooperstown and Sauquoit Valley could all make a run at the sectional crown, but Beaver River likes its chances.

"I think we can do anything we put our hearts into," Zehr said. "It all comes down to heart and hard work at this point and we'll go as for as we're willing to work."

There are seven seniors on the Beaver River roster and that veteran leadership has been key this season.

"Going far in sectionals would be a great way to end our careers," senior Brenna Mast said.