It wasn’t an easy battle for the Yellow Jackets Friday as they had to come from behind to secure their spot in the regional quarterfinals with a 3-1 victory over Borger.
Most of the first half was played with both teams attempting to hit long balls. There wasn’t a ton of play in the midfield and that benefitted Stephenville who created more early chances, but failed to find the final ball.
With close to 10 minutes remaining in the half, the Bulldogs managed to hit a counter and slide the ball passed Stephenville goalkeeper Noble Alexander for the game’s first goal.
It didn’t take long for the Yellow Jackets to respond, though.
Only minutes later off of a throw in near the Borger goal, a slight miss-kick by a Bulldog defender gave Stephenville forward Matthew Chapman a clear shot on goal which he managed to sneak by the goalie for the Yellow Jackets to draw level.
Shortly after Chapman’s goal, Brett Alford kicked a perfect through ball through the air which hit forward Aaron Veloz in stride where he managed to head the ball perfectly over the keeper for Stephenville’s go-ahead goal right before halftime.
“I’d scored a goal like that before so I kind of knew what I was going to have to do,” said Veloz about the go-ahead score. “As soon as it went up I knew I had to head it and that the keeper would charge up and that I’d have to head it over him. When I turned around and saw it cross the line I just felt full of joy.”
In the second half, the Stephenville defense and Alexander managed to keep a clean sheet, while Veloz added another goal for insurance to close things out.
“It’s nice to be able to progress to the next round,” said Yellow Jacket head soccer coach Chayden Feist after the game. “It guarantees us a few extra days of practice and we’re excited to keep playing.”
While he’s happy to still be in the big dance, Borger’s early goal is something that Feist says his team probably needed and he hopes it opens some eyes that the unbeaten Yellow Jackets must keep up the pressure.
“I was kind of thinking this will motivate our guys,” he said. “We came out slow and not playing our game. That goal was good for us. It was the first goal on us in six games. It humbled us and we started playing a lot better after it happened.”
The Yellow Jackets will take on either Bridgeport or Pampa in the next round.