Stephenville’s Honeybees (21-1-2) and San Elizario High School’s Lady Eagles (17-7) matchup in the opening round of the regional tournament Friday and while the battle will be decided on the pitch there is plenty of coffee shop talk surrounding the two teams.
Most notable is the speed and quick-strike offenses both teams possess, and both sides lost their final district games.
For Coach Casey Weil the Bees’ loss to District 7-4A rival Brownwood wasn’t all that bad because he’s used it as positive motivation. The Bees had a bye in the opening round of the playoffs and after nine days without a game looked a little rusty.
Rusty or not the defense was there as the Bees topped Bridgeport 3-0 before turning around and having perhaps their best game of the season in the regional quarterfinals with a 7-2 thumping of Kennedale.
“We control what we do,” Weil said following his team’s win over Kennedale. “I don’t know if we have played a better game all season and that’s a good thing to have to happen at this point.”
The Bees had problems keeping up with the ball with the high wind at their backs, but that played to Stephenville’s first goal when Clair Choate’s header sailed over the outstretched arms of the Kennedale goalkeeper.
Ciera Johnston scored the first of her four goals on a roundhouse kick to make it a 2-0 game and Gracie Bales popped in a pair to pace the Bees’ offense.
“This game will come down to us executing our offense and dictating the flow of the game,” Weil said.
Kennedale played a rough game, and the Bees avoided the trap of retaliating on several plays.
“That shows our maturity. When you are leading it 3-0 you can come to expect players want to go after the ball,” Weil said.
There’s only one ball that will satisfy the Bees this season, and that’s the gold one on top of the state championship trophy.
The winner will play either Castleberry or Canyon with Castleberry (21-3) favored over Canyon (12-6-2)