WARSAW - The Beavers know the way.
The Beaver Local boys' soccer team will play Dover at 7 p.m. tonight at River View High School in an Ohio Division Eastern District Co-Final.
The Beavers enter tonight's game with a record of 11-7.
Beaver Local goalie Brandon Fetty gathers the ball in Saturday against?Steubenville at?Harding Stadium. (Photo by Aaron Petchal)
Beaver Local has qualified for the district co-final for the fourth-straight season, and the game is a rematch of last year's co-final. The Beavers defeated the Tornadoes, 1-0, last year on a goal in the second half by DeShawn Parker.
New Philadelphia ended up defeating Beaver Local, 2-0, in the Region 7 Semifinals in a game played at River View.
This year, Beaver Local advanced to the district co-final by defeating Indian Creek, 7-0, in the sectional semifinals last Wednesday and Steubenville, 1-0, in double overtime Saturday down at Harding Stadium in Steubenville.
"The kids have definitely been enjoying it," first-year Beaver Local head coach Mike Hilliard said about winning a sectional championship. "It is something we expected at the beginning of the year. Their hard work and dedication got the job done."
Dover advanced to the district co-final by defeating Morgan, 9-0, last Tuesday and Maysville, 6-1, Saturday. Both games were played at River View.
"Dover is 12-0-6," Hilliard said. "We definitely are going to have our work cut out for us. They have only given up eight goals all year long."
Beaver Local also has a strong defense. The Beavers have only given up one goal in their last four games.
"Our defense has really stepped up in the postseason," Hilliard said. "They have definitely kept us in games when our offense was sputtering just a little bit. When our offense needed to step up, our offense definitely came through for us.
"Cody Geer has definitely shown a lot of leadership back there on the defensive side of the ball. Brandon Fetty has really proved himself to be a capable No. 1 goalie when our goalie went down. He has really stepped up. Without a couple of saves he made, who knows what would have happened in either one of those playoff games."
Fetty is filling in for Logan Andrews, who is out with an injury. Chase Hilliard has also seen time in goal for the Beavers in Andrews' absence.
Beaver Local has played several games this season with only 11 healthy players.
"I really don't think having 11 kids is a big issue for us," Coach Hilliard said. "The kids are definitely in shape.
"It would be nice to have a player or two to sub, but only if I needed to tell them what to do or to change some thing up.
"Conditioning-wise, I don't think it bother us. We played an overtime game against Steubenville, and it looked like we almost played better in overtime than we did in regulation.
"Our kids know what they have to do, and they are capable of doing it."
Coach Hilliard said the fact that Dover has already played two games at River View does not give the Tornadoes an advantage over the Beavers.
"I don't think so," he said. "These kids have been up there in the past four postseasons. All of the kids have stepped foot on that field. They know what to expect when playing on that field, and in the same sense so does Dover.
"We played them last year, and we beat them 1-0. They are definitely going to be out for revenge."
Beaver Local was able to get in some practice time in the last couple of days.
"We kept it light," Coach Hilliard said. "We did practice the last two nights. We told them basically as long as we go up there and play our game, we will be OK. We can play with everybody.Hopefully, things go our way and we can home with a win."
The winner of the game will play in the Region 7 Semifinals at 7 p.m. Oct. 31 back at River View.
In 2009, Beaver Local defeated River View, 2-0, in the district co-final before blanking Coshocton, 1-0, in the regional semifinals. Columbus St. Francis DeSales defeated Beaver Local, 4-0, in the regional final. The Stallions went to capture the Division II state title.
In 2010, the Beavers blanked the Black Bears, 1-0, in overtime in the district co-final before falling to the Redskins, 3-1, in the regional semifinals.
Today is a big day for both Beaver Local soccer programs. The Beaver Local girls are scheduled to play against Dover in a district co-final at 5:30 p.m. at Philo High School.
"I think says a lot about soccer at Beaver Local," Coach Hilliard said. "It is definitely something special. With watching the girls play this season - I even had to coach them once this year- they have definitely put in a lot of hard work. There is not a team out there that is more deserving. It is great to see what they are doing on the field."