NEW MANCHESTER - The Beavers escaped the Bears' Den unscathed.
The Beaver Local boys' soccer team scored five goals in the first half en route to 5-0 victory Thursday evening over Oak Glen at the new Oak Glen Multi-Sport Complex at the high school.
The win was the Beavers (3-0) third-straight win to open the season, and it was Beaver Local's second-straight shutout. Beaver Local has outscored its opposition by a count of 14-1, so far this season.
Beaver Local’s Chase Hilliard and Oak Glen’s Joe Doughty go after the ball on Thursday in New Manchester. Also seen is Beaver Local’s Logan Charles. (Photo by Aaron Petchal)
Beaver Local has also defeated Crestview, 3-1, and local-rival East Liverpool, 6-0, this season.
"We played really well in the first half," first-year Beaver Local head coach Mike Hilliard said. "In the second half, we got away from what we were doing."
The loss snapped the Golden Bears (5-1) five-game winning streak to start the season.
Oak Glen defeated John Marshall, Magnolia, East Liverpool, Jefferson County Christian and Wheeling Central to open the season.
Offensively for Beaver Local, Chase Hilliard tallied two goals, DeShawn Parker recorded a goal and three assists and Garrett Speelman netted a goal to go along with two assists. Joe Sitarik also found the back of the net for the Beavers.
"Our offense is there," Coach Hilliard said. "Our defense is doing a good job of shutting the other teams down."
Logan Andrews made three saves in goal en route to his second-straight shutout.
"Beaver Local is a really good team," Oak Glen head coach Aaron Bennett said. "They have been to a few Elite 8's. It doesn't matter if they have seven or eight kids. They are good."
Bennett is in his first full season as head coach of the Golden Bears. He served as the interim head coach at the end of last season when former head coach Sam Paletta had to step down. Paletta is now in his first season as head coach of the girls' soccer team.
Oak Glen used two goalies against Beaver Local. Nick Fryer started and made nine saves. Nate Bennett came on in the second half. Bennett made two saves.
"I knew what to expect from them," Coach Bennett said. "I don't think the kids did. They just got back on our schedule. We haven't played them for a while."
Beaver Local scored goals early in the first half and late in the half. The Beavers' final goal of the half and of the game came with 15 seconds left to play in the first half when Chase Hilliard beat Fryer to make the score 5-0.
"If we had to have a night like this, I'm glad it happened against team like that," Coach Bennett said. "Beaver Local is a really good. They are the best team we have played so far."
The Beavers continued to apply pressure throughout the second half, however, the visitors were unable to put a shot into the net. A couple shots sailed just over top of the goal, while others sailed just wide. Fryer and Nate Bennett both made key stops to prevent the Beavers from adding to their lead.
"The kids are used to playing on turf," Coach Hilliard said. "You could see when they were warming up they were ready to go. We have played on turf before, but this was our first game on it in a while.
Both teams are scheduled to return to the field Tuesday at home. Beaver Local will take on Niles, while Oak Glen will play host to Catholic Central.