This article was written by PrepSoccer staff writer, Matt Smith. Matt Smith is a special news and communications correspondent with SF Elite Academy and will providing viewers with an inside look into SF Elite and what makes our club so special.
Ari Beddoes has been here since the beginning. When the San Francisco Elite Academy's 2005 girls GA team hit the field for the first time, Ari Beddoes was on that team six years ago. The standout keeper followed her sister, Cat Beddoes, to SF Elite as the older played for the 2002 team. Ari has enjoyed her time with SFEA, and perhaps the biggest reason is that the club has always supported female athletes during her time with the club. "I love the opportunity the club has given for girls in San Francisco, as most of the clubs (in San Francisco) aren't even NPL," Beddoes said. "Being in Girls Academy gives all players a much better path to success in the future."
That isn't to say other clubs don't support female athletes well, but SF Elite has opened opportunities where others have not and have excelled in their outstanding support of girls soccer players.
"I feel like the opportunities for women have been very limited in the Bay simply due to the lack of level, which SF Elite brings to the City. Being in a national league on the girl's side uplifts and allows the female athletes to have the mindset of being able to succeed to their full abilities." -Ari Beddoes, 2004 SF Elite GA
Beddoes tries to advance this message when she can and let younger female players who come to the club know that they are supported by being role models to look up to. If asked by a younger player considering SF Elite, Beddoes would have a simple message. "I would let her know that she will be supported and understood by teammates and coaches," Beddoes said. "The coaching staff is there to help her succeed or simply allow her to enjoy soccer while playing at a higher level than most clubs in the City." Beddoes is entering her senior year at Sacred Heart Cathedral, and she will continue her playing career after graduating from SHC and leaving SFEA. She has narrowed her choices collegiately to Gonzaga, the University of San Francisco, and San Diego State. She was also fortunate to gain international experience, being called up to the U15 Welsh National Team, joining training a few times in 2019 and 2020, and featuring against Scotland and Portugal. "I loved playing with such talented players because Wales has such a small population; these girls were truly one-of-a-kind footballers," Beddoes said. "I mostly enjoyed having my dad see me play for his country. "Every game, he would be in the stands with his professional camera, yellow, green, and red Welsh bucket hat, and at least three Welsh scarves. I was happy to make him proud by representing his country through the sport I love."