History was made Wednesday afternoon as the Honeybees booked a place in their first ever state soccer championship match with a 2-0 victory over Athens in Georgetown.
The chances began presenting themselves for Stephenville from the opening moments.
First it was forward Gracie Bales who found herself in on goal only a couple of minutes from the first whistle, but the Athens goalkeeper did well to rush off of her line to end the threat.
Shortly after the first chance, Savannah Alford found herself deep in Athens territory and after creating some space between her and a defender rifled a ball across the face of goal which was tapped in by Haleigh Beam. The Honeybee celebration was short lived though as the linesman’s flag was held up indicating offsides.
Despite a couple of wasted opportunities early on, Stephenville broke through after only 7:28 of game time as Gracie Bales worked a header in the air off of a Ciara Johnston throw in to give Stephenville a 1-0 lead.
Throughout the first half Stephenville threatened offensively, but were held to only the lone breakthrough large in part due to the defensive work from the Hornets. The Athens back line forced Stephenville into a whopping 12 offsides before the break.
“They did some stuff to us today and I don’t know if they watched film or what, but I don’t think they thought they could deal with out pace,” said Honeybee head coach Casey Weil. “They played the offsides trap and did so ver well. We hadn’t seen that in a long time and we hadn’t worked at breaking it.”
More of the Stephenville domination of possession and chances reigned down on Athens in the second half, but it took some time for the Honeybees to finally put the result to rest.
With a little more than 10 minutes remaining, Gracie Bales rushed down the right side of the field before she returned the favor to Ciara Johnston, whom assisted Bales on the opening goal, at the far post doubling Stephenville’s advantage to two goals.
Statistically speaking the match was one-sided with Stephenville dictating most of the play. Over the 80 minutes Athens managed to only place two shots on target, while the Honeybees had six shots on goal, including 16 shots total.
“The second goal that we scored is what we talked about all game and at halftime. That was all that we had to do,” said Weil. “We were just a bit off today. We did things well, but at the end our finishing and our final pass was just a little off.”
With the win, Stephenville will take on either Jasper or Boerne in the 4A girls state soccer championship which is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon.