BEVERLY — Caitlin Harty has become a consummate overachiever.
Heading into yesterday’s Northeastern Conference home bout against Salem, Beverly’s junior forward needed just one goal to hit the century mark in career points as well as to become the Panthers’ single-season record holder in goals.
Harty overwhelmed that mark, scoring four times as Beverly cruised 5-2 over the Witches and before the day was done, Harty would accomplish four different Beverly High School girls soccer milestones as the Panthers improved to 12-2.
Early in the first half Harty scored a nifty left-footed goal and play was subsequently stopped so the Panthers could retrieve the game ball that marked Harty’s 100th career point and 34th goal of the season. The marker eclipsed the previous mark of 33 which was held by none other than current Beverly coach Kristin Simpson.
After the game, Beverly athletic director James Coffey presented Harty with a bouquet of orange flowers as the junior beamed with Panther pride.
“I got really excited (when I took the shot). In the back of my head I was thinking ‘this could be it,’” Harty said of her first goal. “And it was, so I was really happy. Soccer is basically what I decided to focus on in high school so having achieved that (place in the record books) makes it all worth it.”
Three goals later, Harty had also broken the Beverly High girls soccer record in career points (104) and goals while extending the single season goal mark to 37. Her head coach, Simpson, had held each one of those marks from her days as a Panther. Simpson and Harty have grown close over the years since Simpson has been the junior forward’s coach since she was 10-years-old.
“Records were meant to be broken. I wouldn’t want anyone else to break it. I’ve coached her since she was 10 and I’ve really enjoyed coaching her and watching her grow as a player,” Simpson said. “To see her become the player and the person she is, she deserves it. She works hard.”