By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (January 16, 2015) — Stephenville scored twice right out the gate and never looked back in a 3-0 blanking of Lampasas in the girls final of the Knights of Columbus Challenge of Champions.
The championship match was the third shutout of the day by the Honeybees, who went 5-0 in the two-day tournament at Stephenville Soccer Complex.
The Bees also blanked Brownwood 4-0 in the semifinal after completing pool play with a 5-0 thumping of Weatherford. Including Friday’s two pool wins, Stephenville outscored its opponents 22-1 while improving to 7-1 on the young season.
The goal is the only one the Bees have allowed through eight games and two scrimmages. Their only loss came on PK’s to break a scoreless tie in the final of tournament play in Marble Falls the weekend prior.
“Defensively, really we’ve only allowed one goal in 10 games if you count the two scrimmages,” said Stephenville head coach Casey Weil, who has guided the Honeybees to two sectional championships. “We’re playing really well out the back, and we have speed and skill up front. We’re pretty fun to watch, we just have to keep working hard and getting better.”
Bayleigh Chaviers was named to the Challenge of Champions All-Tournament Team. Players are selected according to the voting of opposing head coaches. The junior forward has verbally committed to Miami (Fla.).
“They only put one player from each team on the all-tournament team or we may have had several on there, because we had a lot of girls who played some really good soccer this weekend,” said Weil.
Skylar Chipman got the scoring started in both the semifinal and the final. Stephenville had been applying pressure for the entire first half before Chipman finally broke through against Brownwood, scoring in the last minute before intermission.
The Bees blew it open when they had the north wind at their backs in the second half. Codi Beyer cleaned up from right in front of the Brownwood goal to make it 2-0. The Brownwood keeper was out of position after diving to block a shot on goal by Erin Couch, who got the assist when Beyer was there for the rebound.
Savannah Alford scored a 20-yard free kick from the top right corner of the zone to make it 3-0, and defender Lyndi Graham pounded a bomb into the net from 30 yards out off a corner by Chaviers.
Chipman banged home a header in the third minute against Lampasas, then was fouled in the fifth. Couch connected on the ensuing penalty kick for a 2-0 lead before many of the fans had settled into the bleachers and lawn chairs, where the Stephenville faithful lined the Honeybee sideline throughout the afternoon.
The 2-0 score stood until midway through the second half, when Chaviers crossed the ball to Alford, who headed in the final goal of the tournament.
Sunday is Stephenville’s only day off before returning to action. The Honeybees host Granbury at 7 p.m. Friday, following a junior varsity match at 5:30.