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Beaver Local shuts down Indian Creek boys

OUT IN FRONT — Indian Creek’s Elijiah Llewellyn looks to make a play during Thursday’s OVAC Class 4A semifinal against Beaver Local. (Photo by Justin Golba)

CALCUTTA — In a scoreless game with 25 minutes remaining, Beaver Local boys soccer coach Joseph Zirillo asked his captains to step up and make a play.

They did exactly that to give the Beavers a 2-0 win in the OVAC Class 4A semifinal game on Thursday night at Beaver Local.

Captain Alex Miller scored the first goal of the game after rocketing a shot on goal that slipped through Indian Creek’s goalkeeper’s hands.

Seven minutes later, captain Zach Smith put the ball in the net for the Beavers after a great send in pass by Ben Miller. Captain goalkeeper Ashton Bowser finished with four saves and a clean sheet.

“They are awesome,” Zirillo said about his three captains. “They are four-year guys and four-year lettermen. They are great leaders, vocal at practice and the hardest workers on the field day in and day out. They are incredible captains.”

Both teams had some opportunities in the first half, but the game remained scoreless heading into the second half. Then, the Beavers made some adjustments and were able to break through.

“We talked a little bit at halftime and adjusted some movement. We made sure the players were at the right place at the right time,” Zirillo said. “As the second half was developing, the ball just kind of fell to our foot, and we were making plays.”

For Indian Creek, they had chances to equalize the game or even take the lead early. However, due to solid defense by the Beavers and Bowser, the Redskins could not get on the board.

“We will learn, we are young,” Indian Creek head coach Chuck Brettell said. “Our two leading scorers, one is a freshman and one is a sophomore. A game like this we will learn more and go back to practice Monday and break it down. This will be a great learning experience for us.”

In the first half, Indian Creek had one run that looked like it could be a great chance to take the lead, but Beaver Local defender Nathan Kominar stepped in and took the ball back to steal the momentum.

Even though the Redskins’ execution lacked, Brettell was happy with his teams hustle and effort.

“Twelve guys played great,” he said. “This is a great team and a tough place to play. Traditonally, we don’t play too well up here, but I thought we hung as well as we could hang. We just ran out of gas at the end.”

These two teams matched up on Sept. 17, and Beaver Local won that game, 1-0. Both teams were familiar with the other and the way they play.

“We knew they were going to be hard,” Zirillo said. “They are gritty and closed us down fast and made us make quick decisions and lay the ball off quickly. They did just that tonight, but we were ready for it and knew what to expect. We had a little game film on them so we came as prepared as we could.”

With the win, the Beavers (6-2-1) will move onto the OVAC final at 9 a.m. Saturday at Brooke against St. Clairsville. This will be a quick turnaround for the up-tempo Beavers, but Zirillo said that his team is ready.

“This is nothing different for us, having two games in three days,” Zirillo said. “It is going to be an early one and that will be different becasue this will defintely be our earliest game this year, but the two games in three days is not a big deal for us.”

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