After playing to a 3-3 tie in regulation, the Stephenville High School boys soccer team outscored the Wylie Bulldogs 6-5 in a shootout for a 9-8 District 4-4A triumph Friday night at Lem Brock Field.
The win moved first-year SHS head boys coach Taylor Smith’s Yellow Jackets to 2-3 in district and 12-7 on the season.
SHS goal keeper Alfredo Rocha made a save in the shootout to clinch the victory. It was one of three saves Rocha made on Wylie’s penalty kicks during the shootout.
The Jackets had to rally from an early 2-0 Wylie lead.
It marked the first district loss for the Bulldogs, who are 4-1 in league play. They had edged out the Jackets when they played them recently in Abilene, 1-0.
“We finally played to our ability,” Smith said of the Yellow Jackets. “There’s no doubt in my mind, we’re the best team in the district. I knew the first time, we should have beat them. We shouldn’t have gone into penalty kicks. We like the thriller.”
Even though the Jackets entered Friday’s contest with three losses in their first four district games, Smith said he thought his players came into the Wylie game a little over-confident.
“We knew we were the best team in the district. We just had to finish,” Smith said.
The Jackets responded well after falling behind by 2-0 early in the first half.
“I told them that if they would settle down and play, I knew we had the ability to come back from that,” Smith said.
J.J. Saldana scored for SHS at the 11:57 mark in the first half, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
Luis Carrillo’s goal at the 6:37 mark for the Jackets tied the game at 2-all.
At the 18:05 mark in the second half, Wylie grabbed the lead again, 3-2.
A goal by Cabrera at the 10:07 mark for SHS then tied it, 3-3, which eventually forced the shootout.
Unfortunately for Stephenville, the Jackets may be without Jorge Gallegos, their second-leading scorer, for the rest of the season. Smith said Gallegos, a sophomore, recently suffered a non-sports eye injury, is second on the team in scoring behind Ivan Cabrera.
The Jackets play Brownwood tonight. Their next game will be Friday at home against Mineral Wells, with a 7 p.m. start.