This DeKalb girls soccer team’s 2014 season may be the best in the program’s history, and for senior striker Morgan Beaty, it was her best season of a productive prep career.
Commanding the Barbs to the sectional final of the Class 2A state tournament for the first time in the team’s history and getting one win away from a sectional title, Beaty led DeKalb – and the area, with 23 goals while adding six assists. For her efforts, Beaty is the 2014 Daily Chronicle Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
“This season was amazing,” Beaty said. “This year, we saw we dropped a class, and we were looking to get even further, which we did. So, that was cool to be the first girls team to make it to the Sweet Sixteen.”
The number that really stands out is the amount of goals that Beaty scored. The striker entered her senior season having scored 35 career goals. She had been used as more of a table-setter and actually entered this season with more assists (36) for her career than goals.
This season, Beaty was called into more of a scorer’s role and DeKalb coach Phil Rouse was happy with how Beaty adjusted to the change.
“Statically, it was her best season by far,” Rouse said. “She embraced the role of having to become that scorer and that offensive weapon. And, when teams knew she was getting the ball, she still found ways to challenge defenses and carve them up.”
Beaty was a threat to score all season, but the senior really shined in the postseason. In a 1-0 win in the Burlington Central Regional semifinal over Hampshire, Beaty notched her 20th goal of the season and made good work of her chance.
In the regional final, the striker scored both goals in the Barbs’ 2-1 win over Burlington Central. Beaty’s scored her fourth goal of the postseason against Rosary in a 1-0 win in the Hampshire Sectional semifinal.
“I just knew this year that we needed something offensively to match up with our solid defense,” Beaty said. “So, somebody needed to step into that role and I was more than happy to do that.”
Beaty, who scored every Barb goal in the postseason, knew the state tournament would be a major challenge for her, as opponents would focus on containing her throughout the postseason.
“They pretty much knew what we were going to do up top, so I went into those games expecting to be man-marked, and rightfully so,” she said. ”Just to be able to gain that respect from other teams and them looking at me as an offensive threat was just really cool.”
Beaty didn’t start her high school career on varsity, and was brought up near BarbFest in 2011. She immediately made a difference, scoring three goals during the tournament’s first weekend.
During her sophomore year, she started at the top level and was making an impression at different positions. During the playoffs this season, Beaty, who will play collegiately at Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater, was used on defense to close out the match against Rosary.
Rouse describes Beaty as a complete team player.
“She is the ultimate teammate and she wants to win,” Rouse said. “And, you love having players like that on your team because you can ask them to do just about anything and that is the leading example for others.”