The defending Class 4A girls soccer state champion Stephenville Honeybees continue to build momentum as they plow through this year’s playoff competition.
The 22-3 Honeybees’ latest victim, Lubbock Estacado, fell by the wayside by a 6-0 count in their area playoff matchup. Sophomores Gracie Bales and Ciara Johnston recorded three goals each as Stephenville posted the 6-0 win at Wylie High School in Abilene to advance to the third round.
SHS head coach Casey Weil said the Honeybees could be feeling some pressure to bring home another state championship — if they weren’t continuing to play at a lofty level in each playoff game. They have won 16 of their last 17 contests, including 15 shutouts.
“They do feel a little pressure to perform well, and they have high expectations,” Weil said. “But it’s not overbearing. I think if the team wasn’t confident, it could be a distraction.
“They are extremely confident. If they are on their game and they play well, I think we’re the best team in the state.”
The Bees have outscored their first two playoff opponents by a combined score of 15-0.
The Honeybees led Estacado 3-0 at halftime, and so once again Weil was able to substitute some players to gain more playoff experience, and that depth could pay off dividends deeper in the playoffs.
“One good thing about our team is that we’re not really afraid to play every girl on our team. The hardest problem I have is picking 11 players to start. It’s a great problem to have.”
Claire Choat and Haleigh Beam each had two assists and Bales and Beatris Chavarria had one assist in Tuesday’s win.
The Honeybees play District 4-4A foe Mineral Wells in Aledo tonight. The Honeybees went into that Region I-4A quarterfinal playoff game having already beaten the Lady Rams three times this year.
The winner of that game advances to the Region I-4A semifinals against either Kennedale or Midlothian Heritage. Kennedale won back-to-back state titles in 2015-2016.