ALEDO — On one hand, the Stephenville girls soccer team suffered one of the more unlucky turns a Class 4A regional quarterfinal match could present, leading to a 3-0 Denton Guyer victory.
With seven minutes to play in the first half, Stephenville starting keeper Harper Smith leapt to nab a lob pass, which sailed into the Honeybees box.
Right as she pulled in the ball, Guyer’s Telia Young collided with Smith, sending Smith off the field due to injury. Young was given a yellow card.
Seconds after freshman keeper Emily Miller entered the game for Stephenville (18-8-1), Guyer forward Brittany Crabtree chipped a high, floating shot that fell under the crossbar and into the back corner of the net to break the stalemate.
As skillful as the shot was for Crabtree, it was twice as challenging for the freshman keeper to face, Stephenville coach Casey Weil said.
“There’s no telling if Harper would have made the save or not, but I thought [Miller] was in the right position, the girl just played it over her and ended up in a goal for them,” Weil said. “You just throw a freshman goalkeeper into the regional quarterfinal game, no warmup or nothing, it puts her in a bad spot.”
It was a turning point for Guyer, Weil said. Save for a few deep Stephenville runs, Guyer (23-1) held the momentum for the remainder of the game.
On the other hand, Guyer netted two more goals to prove its dominance.
Crabtree picked up her second of the night, sending a rocket shot into the corner of the net by deflecting a corner kick from Kaitlyn Caro off her forehead with 10 ticks left in the first half.
If Crabtree’s second was a rocket, Caro sent a long-range missile into the top right corner of Stephenville’s net from around 40 yards out with 18 minutes to play, ensuring Guyer’s trip to the regional tournament in Wichita Falls.
A pass from Hannah Alspach while she was retreated from the goal set up the score.
“I tell them the girl is facing away from the goal going back and then they pass it and 40 yards out the girl just hits a bomb on us,” Weil said. “At this stage of the game, maybe I’m underestimating teams, but I don’t ever expect someone to hit a 40-yard shot on us. It was an unbelievable shot.”
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