The Stephenville Honeybees moved a little closer to the possibility of capturing an outright District 4-4A girls soccer championship with a 4-0 triumph over Abilene Wylie on Friday.
The home victory, at Lem Brock Field, improved coach Casey Weil’s defending state champion Honeybees to 5-0 in district play, in the driver’s seat — first place — with four more regular-season games to go. Only one of their four remaining games will be on the road.
Stephenville, featuring Alyssa Northcutt as goal keeper, has allowed only five goals all season. It marked the 10th consecutive victory for the 18-2 Honeybees, and the second so far in their three head-to-head battles with Wylie — the team they were co-district champions last season.
In their first district matchup against Wylie, on the road, the Honeybees came home with a slim 2-1 win.
“This was a big one for us,” Weil said. “It puts us in a very good spot, district-wise. If you don’t play the way you’re capable of, you’re going to get beat.”
Going into Friday’s contest, the Honeybees were No. 1 in the state in the preseason Texas Association of Soccer Coaches rankings and Wylie was No. 6. The SHS girls were No. 4 in the state in the latest Texas Girls Coaches Association rankings.
In the win over Wylie, the Honeybees built a 3-0 lead in the first half, and goal keeper Alyssa Northcutt shut out the Lady Bulldogs.
The first goal the Honeybees scored Friday was by Gracie Bales at the 24:17 mark in the first half, off an assist by Ciara Johnston.
Bales also punched in the second goal, at the 16:38 mark, again with an assist from Johnston.
The Honeybees went up 3-0 at the 14:04 mark when Emily Kirbo made a corner kick off an assist from Haleigh Beam.
In the second half, with 32:50 left, Johnston recorded the final goal off an assist from Madison Carter.
With their 3-0 halftime lead, the Lady Bulldogs didn’t have much hope in the second half against Stephenville’s air-tight defense.
“If we can score on someone, I know our defense is good enough to have a chance to win,” Weil said. “To keep that (shutout) for the entire game (against Wylie) says a lot for us defensively.
“It was one of those games that we played extremely well. We took advantage of our opportunities.”
Although Johnston is still the leading scorer on the season for the Honeybees, the scoring has been more balanced in recent outings. Weil is fine with it, either way.
“I tell them I don’t care who scores,” he said. “We cannot be an ‘I’ team. That’s why we won (state) last year, with great chemistry and we played as a team. It’s very hard to defeat a team that has 11 players on the field that can hurt you.”
The Honeybees played last night (Tuesday) against Brownwood. Their next contest will be Friday at home against Mineral Wells.