Jerrica Babb entered Caruthers High four years ago with a background as a defender on the club soccer circuit and the skills to play varsity as a freshman.
But when Blue Raiders coach Jonathan Allen determined his 2009-10 team was lacking a legitimate scoring threat, he made Babb a forward.
"It was a surprise to me," Babb said. "I had played defense since I was little. It was scary, but I got the hang of it."
She sure did.
The move launched one of the most prolific goal-scoring careers in Central Section history and helped Caruthers blossom into a small-schools girls soccer power.
Babb has scored 138 career goals -- tied for fourth in section history, according to historian Bob Barnett -- heading into the postseason, which starts today for girls' teams and Wednesday for the boys.
During that time, the Blue Raiders have gone 94-13-2, won four West Sequoia League titles, captured the Division V crown in 2011 and finished runner-up in D-V last year.
"Before she arrived, we were another small country school just trying to compete," said Allen, who added Caruthers was never much better than a .500 team in the five seasons he coached before Babb.
"She allowed us to begin to put everything in place around her and put a successful team together. Without that goal scorer, it's tough. She's the kind of player we are not going to get very often in Caruthers."
The Fresno Pacific-bound senior will get the chance to add to her career totals Thursday when the now Division IV and top-seeded Blue Raiders open their playoff run by hosting either No. 8 Foothill or No. 9 Taft.
With one goal, Babb would snap a tie with former Tulare Western standout Claudia Cardenas for fourth place in section history. Babb is seven goals away from tying Fresno Christian's Gina Arabia for third place.
Allen said Babb creates scoring opportunities by using her body to block out defenders, while also possessing the speed and cutting ability to create a lane for herself toward the goal.
"She has that knack," Allen said. "When you get her in the box, she can turn on it and take it to the goal. And she knows how to finish on the goalie really well."
At 25-0, Caruthers has the only soccer team in the section -- boys or girls -- with an undefeated record behind Babb's 34 goals and six assists.
And no team in the section has scored more goals (88) or allowed fewer (eight) this season than the Blue Raiders.
"I definitely think we have a chance of winning Valley again this year," Babb said. "Our team is really close. That's one of the main reasons we're so successful. We're more than a team, we're a family.
"When we score a goal, it's for the whole team. When we save a goal, it's for the whole team. We work hard together."
Girls soccer playoffs
No. 9 Centennial at No. 8 Clovis North
No. 12 Bakersfield at No. 5 Clovis
No. 11 Clovis West at No. 6 Liberty-Bakersfield
No. 10 Clovis East at No. 7 Tulare
No. 9 Tulare Western at No. 8 Reedley
No. 12 El Diamante at No. 5 Sanger
No. 13 Edison at No. 4 Lemoore
No. 11 Madera South at No. 6 Mt. Whitney
No. 10 Monache at No. 7 Madera
No. 9 Independence at No. 8 Tehachapi
No. 10 Selma at No. 7 Porterville
No. 9 Taft at No. 8 Foothill
No. 12 Mira Monte at No. 5 Wasco
No. 13 Chowchilla at No. 4 Strathmore
No. 14 Fresno at No. 3 Bakersfield Christian
No. 11 Exeter at No. 6 South
No. 10 McLane at No. 7 Kingsburg
Note: Divisions V and VI begin Thursday.
Central Section leaders
Career individual goals in Central Section girls soccer history:
Ashley Sherr, Fresno Christian (2003-06), 224
Victoria Burnell, Liberty-Madera Ranchos (2007-10), 211
Gina Arabia, Fresno Christian (2000-03), 145
Claudia Cardenas, Tulare Western (2005-07), 138
Jerrica Babb, Caruthers (2010-13), 138
-- Section historian Bob Barnett