The best boys soccer season in Stephenville school history just keeps getting better.
Stephenville netminder Dustin Lingle made seven saves and German Chavarria scored the only goal as the Yellow Jackets won their first sectional championship in school history with a 1-0 shutout of Amarillo Caprock in the blistering cold at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls Friday afternoon.
Despite a stiff breeze out of the north - not to mention the cold rain and occasional snow flake - both teams were stronger offensively going against the wind. SHS had the wind in its favor in the opening 40 minutes but managed just one shot on goal.
Against the breeze in the second half, however, Chavarria was set up by Logan Sharp and pounded a high shot into the left side of the net with 32:19 to play.
“It was definitely a mental loss to go without scoring with the wind at our backs in the first half,” said Stephenville head coach Ramsay Wright. “But I told the guys at halftime that we may play better against the wind because the ball will stick and we can attack straight ahead, which is what we prefer to do. It was certainly one of the worst games we’ve had weather-wise in recent memory.”
The rest was all about defense for Stephenville, which added to its school-record win total and is now 21-5.
“Dustin did a good job, and really our defense did good as a whole,” Wright said. “Zach (Rathburn), Micah (Muir) and Johnny (Resendiz) all played really well.”
Lingle denied Caprock’s five first-half shots on goal before needing only two saves when ACHS had the wind at its back in the final 40 minutes.
Perhaps the junior’s most impressive save of the game came when he leaped and snagged a Caprock header in the 55th minute.
Stephenville advances to meet El Paso Austin in the regional quarterfinals at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Grande Communications Stadium in Midland, immediately following the SHS girls’ 2 p.m. game against El Paso Chapin.
EP Austin, the second-place representative from District 1-4A, had a bye in the opening round of the playoffs before topping both EP Parkland and EP Burges 1-0 in the area and sectional finals, respectively. Austin, which is 17-4-5 on the year, scored in the 80th and final minute to beat Burges.