By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (April 7, 2015) — The state soccer playoffs resume Tuesday for both Stephenville teams, with one focused on a District 4-4A rematch.
After defeating Mineral Wells in three of four meetings in league play, the Honeybees must deal with the Lady Rams again in the regional quarterfinals, the last step before reaching regional tournament play. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Bearcat Stadium in Aledo.
“We just have to be us. We know when we play fast and aggressive and keep the pressure on that we can beat this team,” said Stephenville coach Casey Weil, whose club has thumped Springtown 6-0 and survived San Elizario 3-2 so far in the playoffs. “We made some mistakes that caused us to have a tough time in the last round, and we don’t need any of that. When you get to this point, everyone is good enough to take advantage of mistakes.”
Stephenville is trying to reach a regional tournament that Weil believes is “basically the state tournament. I don’t care what the polls say, the winner of our region should win the state tournament.”
It’s hard to argue with that statement, with state powers Abilene Wylie and Kennedale joining Stephenville in the region. The regional semifinals are Friday afternoon, followed by the regional final on Saturday, both in Kennedale.
The Yellow Jackets are also in the regional quarterfinals after an odd bye in the area round. They are making the long trek to Midland to face a tough San Elizario squad listed among the state’s best in Class 4A.
“What I know about them is that they possess the ball well, they really count on keeping possession and making you work defensively until you make a mistake,” said Yellow Jacket head coach Joe Carter. “We can’t just count on never making that mistake, we have to do something to disrupt them from just possessing the ball and keeping us on our heels.”
Carter, whose club opened the playoffs with a 4-2 defeat of Springtown, says San Elizario thrives off balance, not off one impressive scorer.
“In some ways that’s even scarier than if they had a real star,” he said. “You have to account for everyone against a team like that, not just one or two players.”
The boys game starts at 4 p.m. at Grande Communications Stadium.