ALEDO - Just three minutes after Stephenville tied it up, Mansfield Lake Ridge answered with the game winner, defeating the Honeybees 2-1 in the opening round of the 4A playoffs at Bearcat Stadium Tuesday night.
Mikayla Hobbs scored on an assist from Savannah Alford with 22:46 remaining, evening the tally at 1-1. Alford played a free kick over the defense after a Lake Ridge foul, and Hobbs beat the keeper one-on-one to punch it in.
Lake Ridge's winner came with 19:26 left. The Lady Eagles were on a breakaway and fired a cross from left to right to set up the goal. They played from in front most of the way, taking a 1-0 lead at the 25:52 mark of the opening half.
Stephenville had just two shots on goal in the first half and both were denied by the Lake Ridge keeper, who stopped a roller from Bayleigh Chaviers in the sixth minute and covered a rocket by Skylar Chipman that bounced off her chest in the final minute of the first half.
Stephenville fans were upset when Chipman scored in the 34th minute only to have the goal waived off. The defender marking Chipman went to the turf and the official ruled Chipman forced her down.
The Honeybees were quick to bring the pressure in what proved to be the final half of their season, and for many the final 40 minutes of their high school careers.
Twice in the first four minutes of the second half the Lake Ridge keeper was forced to come out and cover balls, before the Lady Eagles turned the tables and were the ones applying the pressure over the next 10 minutes.
Codi Beyer put one on goal that was kick saved in the 56th, then she missed wide with a header off a Chaviers corner. Hobbs finally broke through for the Bees just more than a minute later.
Following Lake Ridge's winning goal Stephenville went down swinging. Chipman collided with the keeper trying to score off a throw-in by Abby Cole in the 63rd minute, and Chaviers and Beyer were each cut off attacks by the same Lake Ridge defender in the 75th and 76th.
Cassidy Cline tried to set up action with a cross at the end of the 76th minute, but the keeper covered it up. Stephenville was then whistled for offsides violations twice in the final 80 seconds.