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Sullivan County’s Bethany Beinlich named Sun-Gazette Player of the Year in girls soccer

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Sullivan County's Bethany Beinlich (6) drives the ball down field in the first half of a game against Muncy. Beinlich was named the Sun-Gazette's Player of the Year in girls soccer.

When she was a freshman at Sullivan County, Bethany Beinlich was a little disappointed that she wasn’t getting a ton of starting time with the Griffins. It was during that season that she played alongside standout Macy McCarthy, a 100-goal scorer who went on to play at Clarion University.

That time not starting was fuel for Beinlich to get better and improve. It drove her toward success instead of frustration that she wasn’t playing.

Fast forward to Beinlich’s senior year this fall, and all that drive and determination paid off with a remarkable season.

Beinlich was an absolute force for teams to try to contain, which was often easier said than done, as she ended her senior year with 35 goals and was within striking distance of 100. That incredible season earned Beinlich Sun-Gazette Player of the Year honors.

Also considered for the award were Wellsboro’s Kerrah Clymer, Milton’s Janae Bergey and Williamsport’s Kailee Helmrich. Beinlich became the first player from Sullivan County to ever be named Player of the Year.

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Sullivan County's Bethany Beinlich (6) tries to control the ball against Muncy during a game earlier this season. Beinlich was named the Sun-Gazette Player of the Year in girls soccer.

“It’s a really big honor. It’s something that I worked for. I really tried this year to push myself to get a bigger honor than I did before,” Beinlich said.

Beinlich’s 35 goals tied Clymer for the most in the Sun-Gazette coverage area. She also ended with an area-high six hat tricks.

She started the year off with a four-goal performance against CMVT and after that, continued to find the back of the net. Only two teams held Beinlich scoreless this past fall: South Williamsport and Benton. Other than that, the speedy Griffin forward scored at least one goal in every game, including her final high school game against East Juniata in a District 4 Class A playoff loss.

“That was a big accomplishment for me even though halfway through I started getting in my own head because I wanted 100 goals so bad,” Beinlich said. “That really brought me down in some games, but I had my teammates to help and pick up where we were slacking, that’s where Chloe (Burke), Kassidy (Beinlich), Sophie (Springman) helped when I wasn’t at my best.”

Beinlich’s senior season didn’t come as a surprise to many people. Entering her senior year, she had 62 career goals. Teams knew that she could score and every time she steped onto the field, she had a huge target on her back. Teams knew she had speed and could get past a lot of defenders and midfielders. But even wtih teams focusing on her, she still managed to bury shots 35 times.

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Sullivan County's Bethany Beinlich was named the Sun-Gazette Player of the Year in girls soccer.

“I was very disappointed that I didn’t get my 100th, but looking at what I was offered and what I had ever since freshman year, I really gave it my all and you can say ‘oh I sat one game, I missed a PK’ or this and that, but it can happen to anybody,” Beinlich said. “I do think that (I had a target) and we would always have strategies because if there were people on me, how would we get around it? It just makes me work harder and be more aggressive up top because it’s harder to get through when you have people on you. But it made me work harder each game.”

“Bethany is an outstanding athlete. When the games got tough, she dug in and gave 100% in pursuing the goal. She inspired younger players in practice and games to never give up,” first-year Sullivan County coach Kelly Flottemesch said.

Beinlich’s play was more than simply goals and assists. The senior Griffin was a team captain and was the Griffins’ voice on and off the field. During a game where a few younger players didn’t get playing time, they became upset. That’s when Beinlich stepped up and told them about how she didn’t play much as a freshman and how it made her a better play.

She didn’t just lead by example on the field with goals, but by providing confidence to players off the field, too.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Vic Gorini, Montoursville

(Others considered: Jorge Taboada, Wellsboro; Scott McNeill, Williamsport; Kelly Flottemesch, Sullivan County; Marc Lovecchio, South Williamsport; Terry Gerlinski, Lewisburg)

Gorini had a very young team that consisted mainly of sophomores and freshmen. The Warriors though never played like an inexperienced young team and routinely took teams to their limit. Gorini was instrumental in the Warriors coming together and gelling as a unit.

Montoursville had a tough schedule, but still played solid in losses to District 2-4 Class AAAA champion Williamsport (1-0), a solid Lewisburg team (1-0) and PIAA Class AA finalist Bloomsburg (2-0) in the regular season, and upset top-seeded Central Columbia (2-1) in the District 4 Class AA semifinals.

While some may have counted out Montoursville due to its young roster, Gorini never doubted what his team could accomplish and it resulted in the Warriors appearing in the program’s first district championship game since 2015. Under Gorini, the Warriors went 12-5-1 this season and only lost consecutive games once this season.

SUN-GAZETTE ALL-STAR TEAM

CHLOE BURKE, SULLIVAN COUNTY, FORWARD

Burke entered the season just a few goals shy of reaching 50 for her career and the Griffin standout blew past it. Burke ended the year with 18 goals — the third most in the area — and surpassed the 50-goal milestone in the first week of the season. Burke was a nightmare for many defenses to key on and prevent from scoring. She also added nine assists — fourth most in the area — and was a huge reason why the Griffins led the coverage area in goals with 72. Burke was one of just two Sullivan County players to earn Mid-Penn all-star honors and she put up multiple goals in a game six times as well.

KERRAH CLYMER, WELLSBORO, FORWARD

Not many teams in the Northern Tier League had an answer as to how to contain or slow down Clymer, and it showed in the stat books. Clymer ended her junior season with 35 goals, tied with Sullivan County’s Bethany Beinlich for the most in the area, and became a 50-goal scorer in the process. Clymer was named the NTL Offensive Player of the Year in girls soccer. Clymer was also the only Green Hornets player to earn an NTL all-star nomination, doing so at forward.

JANAE BERGEY, MILTON, FORWARD

If Milton was scoring a goal, more likely than not, Bergey was at the other end of it or assisting someone. The junior Black Panther scored a team-high 17 goals and dished out five assists. To put that in perspective, Bergey scored nearly as many goals herself as the rest of the team did combined (18). She was named to the HAC-2 first team.

“Janae Bergey is an incredible player who every opponent we play has to know her whereabouts at all times. She is a game changer and her speed and ability to put the ball in the back of the net makes her very dangerous on the field,” Milton coach Rod Harris said. “We are very fortunate to have Janae as part of our team. She is invaluable to us.”

KAILEE HELMRICH, WILLIAMSPORT, FORWARD

Helmrich missed some games with an injury midway through the season, but she made a huge impact once she came back and got healthy. As the saying goes, it’s not how you start, but rather how you finish. Helmrich was on fire throughout the District 2-4 Class AAAA playoffs. In two of those three games, Helmrich scored seven goals, including a career-high four in the final, to secure Williamsport’s fifth consecutive district championship. With Katie Penman graduating early to go to college, it left a scoring void that Helmrich stepped up and filled. She scored 15 goals and was the only Millionaire to record more than 10. She was a second-team HAC-2 all-star selection.

PIPER MINIER, SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, MIDFIELD

Minier was one of just two South Williamsport players to earn Mid-Penn all-star honors and her play in the midfield and up top was a big reason why. The sophomore played well all year long and led the team in scoring with 15 goals while also dishing out four assists. But Minier’s play wasn’t all just stats. She helped set the tone for the Mounties, played physical throughout the year and made it difficult for opposing teams.

ELLA REISH, LEWISBURG, MIDFIELD

Reish led Lewisburg with 16 goals scored and added three assists. Most teams knew that she would be trying to create chances from inside and outside the 18-yard box, but even so, she still often found herself burying a shot. Reish was a big reason the Green Dragons reached the District 4 Class AA semifinals and had another successful year. She was a constant matchup problem for opposing defenses and when she wasn’t scoring, she helped play a defensive role and limit shots from other teams. Reish was named to HAC-1 first team.

NATALIE REEDER, MONTOURSVILLE, MIDFIELD

Reeder is just a sophomore and played excellent all season for the Warriors. Montoursville coach Vic Gorini had Reeder play as a defensive midfielder and it resulted in her helping control the game and was a big part of why the Warriors allowed just 13 goals all season until the district championship game. Reeder also played all 80 minutes the entire season, never coming off the field. She was a HAC-2 second-team all-star.

CIERRA GETZ, HUGHESVILLE, MIDFIELD

Getz was a key part of Hughesville’s team for the past four years and she ended her senior season as a HAC-2 first-team midfielder. Her play summed up why she was deserving of that honor. The Spartan senior helped contain things in the midfield for Hughesville and limited opposing teams. She ended with four goals — tied for second most on the team — and led the team in assists with three. Getz was one of just two Spartans to receive first-team honors in the HAC.

ELENA MALONE, LEWISBURG, DEFENDER

Malone helped Lewisburg’s back line play solid throughout the year. She helped anchor a defense that made things tough for plenty of speedsters up top and was part of a stingy unit that allowed just 21 goals this past year and allowed just over six shots against per game. Malone earned first-team HAC-1 honors at defense and was one of three Lewisburg first-team all-stars.

GRACE BOOS, LOYALSOCK, DEFENDER

Ignore Loyalsock’s record because it doesn’t at all reflect the talent that Boos has as a defensive standout. The Lancers struggled offensively, but Boos played excellent on the back line and did whatever she could to keep Loyalsock in the game. After a number of games this season, Loyalsock coach Dan Solley was always quick to compliment Boos’ play defensively and noted that you don’t play multiple double overtime games — in Loyalsock’s case, six — without a stellar back line and defense. Boos perfectly reflected that hard work and was named a HAC-2 second-team defender.

MADISON MAIHLE, JERSEY SHORE, DEFENDER

Maihle was the heart and soul of the Bulldogs’ defense and did an outstanding job throughout the year shutting down standout players. Bergey had great field awareness and never quit on a play or during a game. Maihle was somewhat of a dual threat as well. When she wasn’t helping lock down players at the centerback position, she was a threat in the attacking third as she led the Bulldogs with four goals — including a game-winner — which was nearly half the team’s offensive production. She was second-team HAC-1 all-star.

CLAUDIA GREEN, SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, DEFENDER

South Williamsport had a terrific defensive unit this year. After falling in a rout to Benton in the season opener, 9-3, the Mounties allowed just 13 goals the remainder of the season and Green helped contribute to that stingy effort throughout the season. The Mounties allowed an average of just 4.2 shots per game and rarely allowed teams to get an excellent look at the goal.

Green was one of just two Mounties to earn Mid-Penn all-star honors.

ADELIA ENGEL, WILLIAMSPORT, GOALIE

There’s been a solid run of standout goalies at Williamsport with Lila Vogelsong and Kaylee Hornberger before her. Add Engel to that list. Engel was outstanding in goal for the Millionaires and was named a HAC-1 second-team goalie. Engel helped Williamsport win a District 2-4 Class AAAA title for the fifth straight season as she posted consecutive shutouts in the district semifinals and final. She ended with 133 saves, a 1.410 goal against average, tied for the area-high with seven shutouts and averaged 7.8 saves per game.

SECOND TEAM

FORWARDS–Lily Saul, Montoursville; Elizabeth Manning, South Williamsport; Jena Boyce, Wellsboro; Lauren Anderson, Muncy

MIDFIELD–Gillian Way, Hughesville; Makenzie Leitenberger, Hughesville; Mallory Pardoe, Williamsport

DEFENSE–Jocelyn Cruz, Loyalsock; Maddie Still, Lewisburg; Mackenzie Cohick, Montoursville; Hannah Albert, Montoursville

GKs–Lauren Gross, Lewisburg and Rylie French, Loyalsock

HONORABLE MENTION

(In alphabetical order)

Abby Ackley, Williamson, GK; Amber Axtman, Warrior Run, D; Anna Baylor, Montoursville, GK; Grace Baylor, Loyalsock, M; Taryn Beers, Lewisburg, F; Avery Bigelow, Muncy, M; Payton Bragalone, Montoursville, D; Kylee Brouse, Warrior Run, GK; Sophia Clark, Hugehsville, M; Kierstyn Dawes, Montoursville, GK; Matayah Dietrick, Williamsport, D; Abi Duck, Montgomery, GK; Elizabeth Fishel, Jersey Shore, GK; Rita Fisher, Jersey Shore, F; Kate Fortin, Hughesville, D; Leah Grow, Warrior Run, M; Crystal Hamilton, Milton, M; Kendall Hennigan, Williamsport, D; Chelsea Hungerford, Williamson, M; Sophie Kilbride, Lewisburg, F; Kylie Kirkendall, Jersey Shore; Violet Lindsay, Williamsport, D; Camden Lloyd, Milton; Mikayla Long, Lewisburg; Mackenzie Lopez, Milton; Averie Maihle, Jersey Shore; Emma McGinley, Hughesville, M; Hannah Michael, Warrior Run, D; Kiersten Mitstifer, N.P.-Mansfield, F/M; Riley Murray, Milton, D; Hannah Myers, Williamsport, M; Jaclyn Nelson, N.P.-Mansfield, M/F; Tierney Patterson, N.P.-Mansfield, GK; Hailey Poust, Hughesville, D; Aleigha Reippel, South Williamsport, F; Maddy Ross, Warrior Run; Aubrey Sechrist, Jersey Shore, M; Maggie Sheets, Warrior Run, F; Lindsay Snyder, Loyalsock; Ellie Springman, Sullivan County, M/D; Chelsea Stanton, Lewisburg, D; Lindsay Trapani, Warrior Run; Devon Walker, Jersey Shore, F; Leah Walter, Milton, M.

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