By BRAD KEITH
(January 31, 2015) — Stephenville doesn’t need a lofty ranking to make a statement in girls soccer.
The Honeybees (9-1-1) just dominate opponents who are ranked instead.
A long time regional force in what is now Class 5A, the first season of 4A soccer continues to be a landmark campaign for Stephenville, which Friday night crushed No. 3 Kennedale 4-0 at Stephenville Soccer Complex.
“Going into it, we knew that would be the best team we played all year and that it would be a great measuring tool for us to see where we are,” said Stephenville head coach Casey Weil, who seemed unfazed by his team’s lack of poll presence. “You look at rankings and stuff like that, and you would always like to be up there, but we know what kind of team we have and we know how we’re capable of playing.”
And they showed it Friday night. Besides scoring four times in their second victory over a ranked opponent – the Bees have also defeated No. 6 Liberty Hill – they also played air tight defense.
“We were great out of the back; we have been all year,” said Weil of his defenders, who have allowed just two regulation goals all season. “Those girls don’t get to score goals or make headlines very often, but defense is a huge strength for us.”
Mikayla Hobbs couldn’t have known when she began the scoring in the 25th minute that her goal would stand as the game winner, and nobody could have known that an onslaught of goals by Tatum Sharp, Skylar Chipman and Savannah Alford would make it a rout.
But a rout is exactly what it was.
“Their only loss was against Burleson when the Kennedale coach kept his starters out until there were about 15 minutes left because he wanted them to experience playing from behind,” explained Weil.
He could have just waited until Friday, because Stephenville forced Kennedale to play from behind for 55 minutes. It was still 1-0 early in the second half when Sharp cleaned up a rebound off a ricochet by Bayleigh Chaviers. Following Chipman’s strike, Alford drilled a penalty kick into the net from 40 yards out.
“We just played Honeybee soccer – fast, physical and high pressure,” said Weil. “A lot of teams don’t like that. Kennedale didn’t like it one bit.”
Notes: Stephenville’s only loss came on penalty kicks following a 0-0 tie in a tournament final…Lorena and Lampasas are Stephenville’s only opponents to score in regulation…The Honeybees host Mineral Wells in a District 4-4A opener at 7 p.m. Tuesday, also at Stephenville Soccer Complex. The JV match starts at 5:30 p.m.