STEPHENVILLE - Somehow, with five top players suspended, on a snow-covered field, against the three-time defending district champs, Stephenville’s defense stood its ground.
But Abilene Wylie finally broke through, beating the Honeybees back and delivering a pass from the corner all theway across the goal before blasting the only shot of the night to find the back of the net.
The 1-0 win opens up a 2-game lead for Wylie, who defeated SHS by the same score in Abilene during the first loop through district play.
Maddison Goodwin, Christy Ruiz, Chelsea Delgado, Mikah Smith and Caitlyn Cline were all forced to sit out because of actions taken during the melee at the conclusion of the Bees’ 3-2 defeat of Copperas Cove on Friday.
No Stephenville players were carded by officials at the time of the fight, while three Copperas Cove players were officially ejected.
Upon review of the officials’ description of the brawl, the UIL suggested Stephenville take action.
“We hated to do it,” Stephenville coach Casey Weil said. “It’s just one of those things that happened. Of course we can’t tolerate it, and we can’t condone it, so we had to do something about it. It was my decision.”
All players will return to action Friday when the Bees travel to San Angelo to battle Lake View.
“We’re glad its behind us,” Weil said of the shorthanded loss that was played through a snow storm. “Now we can put this behind us and move on with everyone ready for Friday.”
Weil was forced to move three players up from the junior varsity, and both contests were shortened due to the inclement weather.
The varsity match was shortened from 40 to 25-minute halves, and no true halftime break was observed.
“We fought hard,” Weil said. “The goal there at the end could have been avoided, but we just have to move on.”
With the suspensions and the loss behind him, Weil sighed in relief as he said, “This is the longest day I’ve had in a long time.”