In what was a battle of two undefeated teams, the Stephenville Yellow Jackets perfect season came to an end in extra time 2-1 Friday night in the regional tournament in Kennedale after Life Oak Cliff scored a late goal.
Undefeated Life Oak Cliff started the game pressing hard as they found the game’s first early chance when an attacker found himself one on one with Stephenville goalkeeper Noble Alexander. As the attacker ran into the box Alexander made himself big and came out on top to keep things level at 0-0.
Several minutes later, the Lions did manage to find the back of the net as a foul, which appeared to be a no-call at first glance, was given 30-yards out. From there, the Lions’ captain Jose Rodriguez found the far left corner of the goal to give his team a 1-0 lead with a little more than 26-minutes remaining in the half.
The Yellow Jackets did level later in the half when midfielder Ivan Cabrera sent a beautiful through ball over the top of the Life Oak Cliff defense which was struck by forward Aaron Veloz for his eighth goal of the playoffs and the game’s equalizer.
There weren’t many chances in the second half other than a ball that was put above the net by Alexander on a screaming shot from outside the box by a Lions player.
At the end of regulation, both teams were tied 1-1 and they headed to extra time.
Both extra time periods appeared to be dominated by the Yellow Jackets. With less than five minutes remaining in the first period, Aaron Veloz had a chance in front of goal to take the lead, but hit wide. The Life Oak Cliff keeper also mishandled a ball in the box, but no Stephenville player was able to take advantage and get a foot on it.
In the second extra time period, the Lions who were on their back foot for most of the final 20-minutes hit pay dirt as they scored off a set piece which landed close to goal in the box to dash the Yellow Jackets’ state tournament dreams.
“The guys played their hearts out and I’m proud of them, they had an amazing year,” said Yellow Jacket head soccer coach Chayden Feist after the game. “It really sucks to go out. We took them into extra time and I told them whatever team got lucky was the team that was going to win. We were mistake free tonight and we had no mess ups. What we didn’t win was the luck game.”
With the season over in such dramatic fashion, Feist also took a second to thank his team for the memorable first season.
“Their my first group and I love every single one of those guys,” he said. “This has been an amazing run and I feel for those seniors, but I’m proud at what this team accomplished this year.”