By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (April 2, 2015) — Stephenville is headed west this evening as the Honeybee soccer team’s journey through the state playoffs takes them to Midland to face San Elizario.
The area round showdown begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at Grande Stadium, with the winner advancing to the regional quarterfinals to meet Mineral Wells with a regional tournament spot on the line. The regional semifinals and finals are April 10-11 at Kennedale.
San Elizario has not taken the pitch yet in the playoffs, having won the district title in 1-4A to receive a bye through the first round thanks to 2-4A not having any soccer clubs. San Elizario has allowed only 16 goals all season.
“They’re pretty good, especially defensively,” said Stephenville head coach Casey Weil. “We have to take advantages of the opportunities when we get them because there may not be as many as we’re used to getting.”
Especially in the bi-district round of the playoffs last Thursday, when Stephenville generated countless scoring opportunities and cashed in six times for an easy 6-0 win over Springtown.
“We’ve been playing well lately, and now that we finally have everyone we have a lot of depth,” said Weil. “We shouldn’t ever have to worry about being tired, because we have a lot of good players up and down our roster. We just have to play up to our capability.”
And not allow distractions – such as early release from school, a four-hour charter bus ride or the upcoming Easter weekend, for example – to stand in the way.
“San Elizario is good enough without us helping them, we sure don’t need to just go for the trip and not be serious,” Weil said. “But as long as we play our brand of soccer and play it the way we know how, I believe we should be fine.”
The Honeybees have plenty of firepower, but one star forward is questionable for the matchup. Bayleigh Chaviers, a junior who has committed to Miami (Fla.) says she is nursing shin splints, but will “try to play tonight.”
Mineral Wells is resting while awaiting the winner. A 4-4A rival of Stephenville’s, the odd number of 4A teams leaves the Lady Rams without an area-round opponent after defeating Wichita Falls Hirschi 3-0 in bi-district.