Erin Teevans is fast enough to beat a defender in the blink of an eye.
But focusing solely on the Wheaton Academy star’s speed would mean overlooking all of her other skills.
Teevans, a senior forward, has been blitzing opposing defenses for four years now, racking up impressive goal totals and helping the Warriors win back-to-back state trophies.
“Teevans is an explosive player,” Wheaton Academy coach Jeff Brooke said. “She is really a well-rounded player, so [she she is good with her] right or left foot, ballstriking ability, distribution, and she can go to the goal.
“Then she’s just got this character that is filled with humility, so she’s been a great player for us.”
Indeed, Teevans was the youngest starter on the Warriors’ 2016 Class 1A state championship team. She tallied 25 goals and 15 assists that year.
As a junior, Teevans had 18 goals and 24 assists as Wheaton Academy finished second in Class 2A.
She has continued her torrid pace this season with nine goals and four assists, including a hat trick in a 6-0 win over Fenton, which tried and failed to contain Teevans using an offsides trap. Instead, Teevans shredded the Bison with three breakaway goals, all set up by perfectly timed passes from senior defender and fellow co-captain Lizzy Swoboda.
“We saw a high line and we know we have fast attackers,” Swoboda said. “I know that if I put a ball that kind of floats up there, Erin can track it, get it and take the space and score.
“That’s so comforting as a defender to know that I can send that ball and she’ll get there.”
The 5-foot-2 Teevans usually is the fastest player on the field, but her impact goes far beyond lightning-fast attacks. She is as tenacious as she is tiny and her congenial personality masks a competitive fire that fuels the Warriors’ quest to return to state.
“Teevans is a weapon,” Swoboda said. “She is like a beast on the field but what people don’t know is that she is the most humble player.
“She’s the best teammate because she attacks and leads by her actions, but she is so good off the field in encouraging us.
“It’s this perfect balance. We watch her every day and she makes the rest of us better because she’s so stinking fast and good on the ball and she finishes well.”
Teevans’ speed is a physical gift, but the rest of her skills were learned from older sisters Tatum and Hayley. Both played for the Warriors and Hayley was a member of Wheaton Academy’s 2009 Class A state championship squad.
“I kind of just copied whatever they did when I was younger,” Teevans said. “I just tried being like them.
“I always looked up to [Hayley] and saw that she won a state championship, so that motivated me.”
Teevans has been a key cog as the Warriors have remained one of the top small-school programs in the state, going 62-13-4 in her first three seasons. Their only playoff losses during her career both came on penalty kicks; to St. Francis in the sectional final her freshman year and to Troy Triad in last year’s state final.
“My siblings both played soccer here so I knew it was a great program,” Teevans said. “Coming in as a freshman I had the mindset of I want to go as far as I possibly can and each year I just set that goal of taking each game one at a time but also having a state championship in mind.”
Teevans, who has 74 goals and 54 assists in her career, will likely finish in the top 5 on the school’s career list for goals, assists and points. She and senior goalkeeper Marta Oster will play college soccer at Taylor University, but for now she is concentrating on leading the Warriors to another title.
“I want to embrace every moment,” Teevans said. “It’s my last season and I want to make the most of it and have fun and really embrace all my teammates.”
There is no doubt Teevans’ teammates embrace her.
“We trust her so much, not only because she has such a good track record but because her skills are so good,” Swoboda said. “It’s so fun to watch and she’s fun to play with. We look up to her a lot.”