The Honeybees’ state championship dream ended Friday when they were bounced out of the regional tournament by hosts Kennedale in a 7-1 game.
The two teams came out with two very different game plans. Kennedale pressed Stephenville very hard from the get go, which forced Stephenville into a number of turnovers, especially in the midfield.
It took less than four minutes for the Lady Wildcats to break the 0-0 tie as they found the back of the net with 36:02 remaining in the first half.
Close to six minutes later, a Stephenville defender fouled a Kennedale forward in the penalty area forcing the referees hand in calling a penalty kick, which the Lady Wildcats converted to double their lead, 2-0.
Later in the half, Stephenville’s moment of brilliance took place.
A Honeybee counter saw Bayleigh Chaviers break out of the left of the field and take on a Kennedale defender before flipping a sharp cross across the box and finding Skylar Chipman in stride who finished clinically with a header for Stephenville’s goal.
“That’s one thing we can take away from the game, yeah we allowed some goals, but what a great goal we scored,” said Honeybee head coach Casey Weil. “That was a wonderful goal. It was one of those things where we did what we wanted to do and got it into a great position. It was an awesome goal.“
The reigning state 4A champions didn’t let the hope for the Honeybees last very long though .
The Lady Wildcats shut the door for good right before half as they scored back-to-back goals on corner kicks to extend their lead to 4-1 before the break.
Stephenville only managed to create several more half chances in the game, while Kennedale found the net three more times in the game’s final 40 minutes.
“Going into it we had played them before and we knew what kind of program they have,” said Weil after the game. “I just think today we got beat by a better team. It’s not in me to sit back and play a lot of defense and not try and score. I wanted the girls to play the game they’ve played all years. If we get beat by a better team then so be it, it happens.”
The loss eliminates the Honeybees who have had a great season and finished as the No. 1 seed in their district. The team itself is something that Weil says he’ll miss.
“I can’t say enough about these seniors and this team,” he said. “Throughout the whole time and all the wins we had and the few defeats, they’ve been a great team together. Hats off to them and I love them to death. I wish I could have them back.”