CALCUTTA - The Beavers slayed the Red Dragons.
DeShawn Parker recorded two to lead the Beaver Local boys' soccer team to a 2-1 win Thursday night over visiting Niles in a makeup game.
With the win, Beaver Local assured itself a winning season. The Beavers ended regular season play at 9-7. With the loss, Niles drops to 3-12-1.
Beaver?Local’s?Garrett Speelman kicks the ball on Thursday against Niles. (Photo by Aaron Petchal)
The game was also the final regular season game for the Beavers in the All-American Conference.
"We were able to get out of the game with no red cards and no injuries," first-year Beaver Local head coach Mike Hilliard said. "The kids played their hearts out. The played right until the end.
"You have to give Niles credit. They didn't stop. They pushed until the final whistle had blown. It was just like that the last time."
Chase Hilliard and Brian Jackson each netted assists for the Beavers, who continue to play with just 11 healthy players.
"What they do with the amount of kids they have is really incredible," Niles head coach Joshua MacMillan said. "They just don't kick and run. They play hard the the whole game."
Beaver Local once again used two goalies in the game. Brandon Fetty started the game, and Chase Hilliard came on in the second half to finish the game out. Fetty tallied six saves, while Hilliard delivered five.
Seth Egry recorded the lone goal of the game for the Red Dragons. JC Pierko assisted on the goal. Noah Arvin made six saves in goal.
Beaver Local scored the first two goals of the game to lead 2-0 in the second half, but Niles stepped up the pressure in an attempt to tie the score.
The Red Dragons' offensive pressure increased following the goal by Egry. Niles spent the last few minutes of the game on constant attack. The Red Dragons had a couple golden opportunities to draw even, but one shot hit the post, Chase Hilliard made a couple of key saves the Beavers' defense was able to clear the ball out of harms way to temporarily give the Beaver Local players a much-needed in the break.
As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Red Dragons mounted one final push, but in the end the Beavers were able to clear the ball away just as the final whistle blew to end the hard-fought game.
"It was an exciting finish," MacMillan said. "We fought until the end.
"The important thing is no one on either team got hurt, and now we both head into next week."
Niles will open up play in the Austintown District in Division II at 7 p.m. Monday at Champion. While the Red Dragons know who they will be facing in their postseason opener, the Beavers will have to wait to find out who they play.
Beaver Local is scheduled to play at 8 p.m. Wednesday night in Eastern District Sectional Semifinal match down at Harding Stadium. Beaver Local will play the winner of the sectional opener between East Liverpool and Indian Creek. The game between the Potters and Redskins is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at Harding.
The Beaver Local game will follow the first semifinal of the night, featuring Edison and Steubenville. That game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
"We are going to try and take it easy," Coach Hilliard said about his team's plan in the next few days leading up to the tournament game. "We only have 11 kids, but we do need to practice. It seemed it like they lost a little bit of energy toward the end. We need to practice, but we also need the rest."