Stephenville captured third place Saturday in the girls division of the 17th annual Knights of Columbus Challenge of Champions soccer tournament when the Honeybees defeated the Granbury junior varsity — for the second time in the tournament — in the consolation match.
The Honeybees opened the two-day tournament, played at the Stephenville Youth Soccer Complex, with pool play victories over the Granbury JV and Gatesville, by identical 6-0 scores.
In their final pool play game on Saturday morning, the Honeybees continued to roll, trouncing Little River Academy, 9-0. But in the semifinals, the SHS girls were upended by China Spring, 1-0.
Later that afternoon, the SHS girls topped the Granbury JV for the second time to earn the third-place spot, this time by a 2-0 count. Claire Choate took an assist from Gracie Bales on the first goal. Then Madison Carter scored the final goal, off an assist from Alex Camron.
SHS girls coach Casey Weil explained that the lone goal the Honeybees gave up in their loss to China Spring was somewhat of a fluke, aided by the wind.
“That’s what happens when you let teams hang around and give them an opportunity,” Weil said. “It could have been at least 2-0 (us) early. You don’t capitalize on chances and let teams hang around, that’s what happens.”
In the third-place match, Weil said, the Honeybees gave good effort, but it still seemed like a disappointing end in a way after they had outscored their first three opponents in the tournament by a whopping 21-0 margin.
“To lose that way kind of took a little steam out (of them),” Weil said. “When they got that goal, I think we panicked and started playing the way we shouldn’t. We didn’t play well enough to win.”
In the first game against Granbury JV, the Honeybees got two goals from Lexi De Los Santos and Ciara Johnston, and one each from Bales and Carter. Assists were recorded by Johnston (2), Haleigh Beam, Carter and De Los Santos.
Johnston scored three of the goals in the win over Gatesville. Beam and De Los Santos notched the other goals. Assists were credited to Beatris Chavarria, Alex Camron, Bales, Johnston, Choate and De Los Santos.
The lengthy scoring list against Little River Academy included nine different Honeybees — Johnston, De Los Santos, Choate, Beam, Carter, Cheney Carrillo, Tanja Pederson, Brinkley Harlow and Natalie Elizondo. In addition to four assists by Carter, other assists in that game were by Beam (2), Bales, Choate, and Natalie Elizondo.
The Honeybees are scheduled to play their next match this Friday Springtown (varsity only) at 5 p.m.