Honeybees drop district soccer finale in shootout

Mark Wilson mwilson@empiretribune.com
Ciara Johnston

The machine-like Stephenville Honeybees suffered their first soccer loss of the season Friday in Brownwood, but coach Casey Weil suggested that hasn’t been a bad thing for the school’s two most recent state championship teams.

The Honeybees finished regulation in a 1-1 tie with the Lady Lions, getting a goal from Ciara Johnston off an assist from Beatris Chavarria.

But Brownwood won the District 6-4A finale on penalty kicks in the shootout, 4-3. Chavarria, Madison Wyly and Gracie Bales scored the PK goals for SHS, which had already secured the outright district title for the second year in a row.

The Honeybees — with an eye on trying to win their second state championship in three years — were unbeaten through their first 23 games this season, at 21-0-2. That was good enough to earn a No. 1 state ranking in the Class 4A girls MaxPreps online poll, and the No. 2 spot in the Texas Girls Coaches Association’s rankings.

Weil recalled that the 2017 SHS squad that won the first girls soccer state title in school history, also dropped a match to Brownwood just before going on their historic championship run.

“Sometimes it’s an eye-opener,” Weil said of Friday’s loss, which gave the Honeybees a 6-1 district mark, ahead of runner-up Mineral Wells at 3-3 and Brownwood at 1-5. “I don’t think we played bad. The ball would not go in the goal (for us). Kudos to Brownwood; they played hard.”

Weil said he doesn’t think the loss will affect his players in a negative way.

“I don’t think so, just by their attitude,” Weil said. “We kind of got humbled a little bit. I think we’ll be just fine. We’ll bounce back.”

The Honeybees will play their area-round playoff game against the winner of the bi-district contest between Bridgeport or Benbrook — squads that will play each other either Thursday or Friday this week.