Stephenville (24-1-2) will face Liberty Hill 23-2-2 for the Class 4-A Girls State Soccer Championship at 2:30 p.m. Thursday after the Bees mauled Lumberton 5-1 and the Lady Panthers downed Melissa by a 2-1 score at Georgetown’s Birkelbach Field.
Stephenville with their semifinal victory return to the state title game for the second time in three years and made a statement early with a pair of Clair Choate goals that put Stephenville ahead 2-0 less than seven minutes into the contest. Gracie Bale’s tap for the assist came on a cross pass from Ciara Johnston.
Both teams battled back and forth the remainder of the half with Coach Casey Weil electing to start substituting and forcing Lumberton to play keep up.
“We came out pretty hot, and that’s good,” Weil said. “I like the quick turnaround where we can score quickly like that and get on top.”
Lumberton managed a late goal in the first half that made it 2-1 contest. It was the only blemish on a solid game from Bee goalkeeper Madison Wyly who miss judged the ball, and it just went over her hands.
A Haleigh Beam corner kick set up the Bees third goal when Johnston outleaped defenders and jammed in a header for a 3-1 lead with 17:29 remaining
As they often do the Bees began to sting quickly with Bales adding a goal two minutes later and Abby Harrison sealing the deal with 10:25 remaining and a 5-1 final tally on the scoreboard.
“We are going to rest the remainder of the day,” Weil said. “I’m scouting the other game while the girls go and eat.”
What did Weil have to say to his Bees in the huddle following the game?
“I told the girls I love them and that I’m so very proud of them,” Weil said. “We’ve had a goal all season, and that’s getting back the state championship.”
Winning the title won’t be easy as the Lady Panthers have hung up some gaudy scores as Liberty Hill beat Jarrell 21-0 and Florence 18-0.
However, there’s one score that soccer fans can’t overlook and that’s 0-3 against Stephenville earlier in the season. That makes the Bees a favorite, but after last year’s early exit in the regional round, Stephenville will have their nose to the grindstone.
Liberty Hill Schedule and Results
|Waco La Vega||10-0|
|Dallas Highland Park JV||2-1|
|Bastrop Cedar Creek||6-0|
|Little River Academy||12-0|
|Little River Academy||10-0|
|Comal Canyon Lake||10-0|
Liberty Hill Roster
Stephenville Schedule and Results
|Fort Worth Carter-Riverside||10-0|
|San Antonio Saint Mary’s Hall||6-0|
|Waco University JV||10-0|
|Waco La Vega||6-0|
|Wichita Falls Rider||0-0|
|River Oaks Castleberry||6-0|
|6||Jasmene De La Cerda||Senior||Forward|