Stephenville High School girls soccer coach Casey Weil used the word relentless to describe the intensity of his players in 2019, when they won the Class 4A state championship for the second time in three years.
That spark had seemed to be missing in some of their games early this season — losing one game and tying one — yet they are still ranked fifth in the state in 4A by Maxpreps online.
On Tuesday, however, the coach may have seen that old flame burning in their eyes again — to borrow the words from an old country song. They blanked Class 5A Abilene Wylie 5-0 at Lem Brock Field to improve to 11-1-1 on the season.
“We were creating a lot of chances, as opposed to some of the other games where we struggled to create,” Weil said after the win. “We played with confidence, and we played the way we’re capable of playing. We just played really well. We played relentless, like we had in the past.
“We played smart, physical, and we looked very fast. We had some girls play really well.”
Part of the relatively slow start for the Honeybees had to do with injuries to key starters, including Beatris Chavarria, Gracie Bales and goal keeper Madison Wyly.
Bales played in part of the Bees’ Jan. 24 game against Aledo and was able to make a huge impact Tuesday.
The Honeybees gained a 4-0 lead over the Lady Bulldogs in the first half Tuesday, getting three goals from Bales and one from leading scorer Ciara Johnston. Tori Cameron scored the final goal, at the 30:50 mark in the second half.
Haleigh Beam and Johnston each recorded two assists, and Claire Choate had one.
Wyly, who suffered a broken finger, is still sidelined. Chavarria is still nursing a quad injury but could return to action soon.
Weil said that missing such experienced seniors — who have been playing together for years — on the field may tend to change their mentality.
“We had some girls play really well,” Weil noted. “(But) even as well as we played tonight, we can play better.”
If that trend continues, it could mean trouble for their opponents once the playoffs start in March. The only loss so far was to Class 5A Aledo, and their tie was against second-ranked Liberty Hill, the team the Bees defeated, 2-0, in the 2019 state championship game.
The Honeybees were scheduled to play at home again Friday (Feb. 7) against San Angelo Lake View at Lem Brock Field (varsity at 7 p.m.). After a Feb. 11 non-district home game against Wichita Falls Rider, the start of their three-team district schedule will be Feb. 14, at Mineral Wells.