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GIRLS’ SOCCER /// Moorpark Musketeers
ESCAPE TO VICTORY—Naomi Tobias, a junior center midfielder for the Moorpark High girls’ soccer team, kicks the ball in a Coastal Canyon League match at Oak Park on Jan. 11. The Musketeers earned a 2-1 win. Photos by MICHAEL COONS/Acorn Newspapers

ESCAPE TO VICTORY—Naomi Tobias, a junior center midfielder for the Moorpark High girls’ soccer team, kicks the ball in a Coastal Canyon League match at Oak Park on Jan. 11. The Musketeers earned a 2-1 win. Photos by MICHAEL COONS/Acorn Newspapers

. Green Machine seeks league, CIF championships

By Eliav Appelbaum

eliav@theacorn.com

Three freshmen start for the Moorpark High girls’ soccer team.

Gabriela Beauchemin isn’t one of them, but the newcomer fits in nicely with this talented, hardworking crew.

Beauchemin is a senior, but this is her first year representing the Musketeers on the pitch. She grew up playing AYSO soccer in town: Beauchemin and current teammate Ellie Easley played together as pups, and their fathers, Scott and Jon, coached their youth teams.

“I’m just so happy to be here,” said Beauchemin, an attacking center midfielder and forward. “It’s such a cool experience.”

Moorpark’s formula for success remains the same with 11thyear head coach Mike Alexander.

Keep the ball. Apply pressure. Defend like junkyard dogs patrolling a repo man’s car lot.

“We have a very talented group,” Alexander said. “They want to be here, and they always come in ready to work.”

 

 

Moorpark improved to 8-3 overall, 3-0 in the Coastal Canyon League after upending Oak Park 2-1 Wednesday on the road. The Musketeers are ranked No. 6 in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 poll.

This squad features one of the most talented defensive back lines in Acorn country with Kaitlyn Beavers, sisters Mirabella and Brielle Bickham, Rebecca Hernandez, captain Lizzeth Meza and Mariana Morales. Mirabella Bickham and Hernandez are freshman starters, and the other defenders are juniors.

“We’re so deep in the back row,” Alexander said.

Emma Ott, the league’s goalkeeper of the year in 2022, fortifies the defense.

“I love being able to be in my position,” Ott said. “When other girls in this group work hard, that makes me want to do well for them. . . . It’s great that my teammates have trust in my play. That gives me confidence in myself.”

 

 

The Musketeers have big goals.

“Personally, I’m looking forward to crushing it this season,” said Ott, a 3.83 GPA student. “I think we have a very, very talented group of girls. We want to win league, and we want to go to CIF. We want to go further than we did last year. . . . We really want to be able to win CIF. I think we have the group that’s talented enough to get that far.”

Hernandez praised her keeper.

“She is the teammate with the most team spirit I’ve ever seen,” Hernandez said. “She’s very strong in goal. She’s definitely somebody that we can always rely on.”

Beavers, an outside back/ center back, shared the Coastal Canyon Defensive Player of the Year award with former teammate Jennifer Bill, who graduated last spring.

The junior, who sports a 3.8 GPA, said the defense has chemistry and communicates well.

“We all have that same strong mindset,” Beavers said.

LAST ACTION HEROES—Pictured clockwise from top, Moorpark junior Kamryn Beavers, right, and Oak Park’s Lauren Bessey battle for the ball; Moorpark sophomore Ella Navarrete passes the ball; and Moorpark senior goalkeeper Emma Ott stops the ball. The Musketeers are ranked No. 6 in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 poll.

LAST ACTION HEROES—Pictured clockwise from top, Moorpark junior Kamryn Beavers, right, and Oak Park’s Lauren Bessey battle for the ball; Moorpark sophomore Ella Navarrete passes the ball; and Moorpark senior goalkeeper Emma Ott stops the ball. The Musketeers are ranked No. 6 in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 poll.

She said she loves playing for Moorpark.

“All the girls and the coaches, the whole relationship, it’s one of those dream teams I always wanted to have, especially going into high school,” she said. “It’s everything you would want it to be. It’s such an amazing team. I’ve honestly made so many memories, and I’m so excited to make even more.”

The Musketeer plays alongside her twin sister, Kamryn Beavers, a midfielder. Their older sister, Haylie, won a Florida girls’ soccer state title at Oviedo High.

Hernandez, a freshman outside right back with a 4.0 GPA, has fit in well at Moorpark.

“The thing I’ve enjoyed most is being part of a team like this,” the rookie said. “Everybody’s just so welcoming and kind, but we still push each other to do the best we can do. It’s a really good team environment overall.”

Hernandez said Alexander creates “a very good and fun environment,” but he does something else important, too.

 

 

“He does hold us accountable,” the freshman said.

The rookie’s older sister, Sarah Hernandez, helped Moorpark win a CIF championship in 2017 before starring on the pitch for the University of Louisville.

Linnea Peltonen, a freshman forward, has worked her way into the Musketeers’ starting 11. She is the third rookie currently starting.

“They don’t play like freshmen,” the coach said of the rookies. “They have no fear. They’re exciting to watch.”

Beauchemin, a college prospect, said the Musketeers gel on and off the field.

“Our chemistry has been awesome,” she said. “We have fun team dinners, and practices have been a lot of fun. We pass the ball really well. I think we play really well together.

“Of course, it’s not going to be perfect right away, but we’re doing great so far.”

Beauchemin sports a 3.7 GPA and is active in student government. She also competes in the 4×100-meter relay and hurdles races in track and field.

Ellie Easley, Kamryn Beavers, Naomi Tobias and Zaina Barakat fortify the midfield.

Alyssa Diaz, an Agoura transfer, is a talented junior forward who scored two goals in a 3-2 win against Royal on Jan. 6.

Gianna Foss, a junior striker, was the team’s second leading scorer last season; she is working her way back into the starting lineup after an injury.

Ott, Beauchemin, Easley, Evany Macilla and Lana Zapata are the only seniors on the roster.

Justine Barnes, Jazmine Grajeda, Makenzie Simmons and Amanda Parada also contribute for the Musketeers.

Alix Tirado, Ram Tobias and Christine Meehan are varsity assistant coaches. Tobias’ daughter, Naomi, is a left-footed attacking center midfielder.

“We are a very special group of girls,” Hernandez said. “I think we have the potential to go very far because we have the work ethic and the mentality to do so.”

Find sports editor Eliav Appelbaum on Twitter @EliavAppelbaum.