DeKALB – It is safe to say that the DeKalb Barbs won Friday’s soccer match between current high school players and a group of alumni players.
This was the second year a DeKalb girls soccer alumni game was organized. PJ Hamilton, in his third year as coach and eighth with the program, said he got the idea from the boys program, which participated in an alumni game earlier this summer. Hamilton gave several reasons for inviting alumni back to play the current players.
“What we are looking for is getting to see some of the girls again, especially those that are still playing at the next level,” Hamilton said. “They can teach our current players a thing or two. There are some really talented girls out there.”
One young lady, preparing to finish her collegiate soccer career this fall, also was a major part of organizing the game. Morgan Beaty, Class of 2014, is going into her senior year at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where she played soccer each of her previous three years. Beaty, a former Daily Chronicle girls soccer player of the year, scored three goals and had one assist in 2016. Beaty was a key player on the 2014 Barbs team that made it to the supersectional final, the furthest the DeKalb girls team has ever gone. Beaty was excited to be back at DeKalb.
“I was excited to play soccer,” Beaty said. “It is awesome to be back on the field with these girls and reconnect. It was a good opportunity to just play for fun. It rekindles the love for the game.”
Another key player on that 2014 team also played on the alumni side. Maddie Frye starred in goal all four years of her high school career. She initially played at Benedictine University, but after some injuries, returned to DeKalb and now is studying industrial and systems engineering at Northern Illinois. In Friday evening’s game, she continued her dominance in goal. She held the current Barbs to just one goal in regulation.
A few other players played at the college level as well. Kayla Baum played her freshman year at Northern Alabama University and Kayley Garland will play her second season at Waubonsee Community College. Joining these young ladies will be 2017 graduate Hannah Hickey who will be continuing her soccer career at Truman State. Hickey was selected for the all state team this spring.
Hamilton also explained that an important part of this game is just getting some competition for the girls team to play against. He stated that it can be difficult finding games for the girls during the summer because the boys play in the fall and many programs share coaches. With that being said, he was very pleased with the game Friday evening.
It ended in a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation with goals coming from Kayla Perkins on the alumni side and senior Bella Bettner on the student side.
“They’re bigger than us and so we got kicked around a little out there but it was fun.” Bettner said of the game. She also spoke of her expectations for the upcoming season. “My expectation is to have a great season. We want to make it to a regional final and win.”
The Barbs lost in the regional final game this past spring, but Hamilton is expecting big things too in the spring of 2018.
“We have really high expectations,” Hamilton said. “This is a group of girls who have been playing at a really high level for four years. We want to build on last year.”
The game ended in penalty kicks with the alumni winning, 4-3, on a night alumni goalie Maddie Frye got to live out her glorious past one more time.