The Lumberton Lady Raiders (23 wins - 3 draws - 2 losses) are on the hunt for their first state championship in program history.
The Region III champion Lady Raiders will play the Stephenville Honeybees (23-1-2) in the Class 4A state semifinal playoff. That game will be played at Georgetown High School at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 17. Stephenville defeated Castleberry (22-4-0) 6-0 Saturday, April 13 to win the Region I title.
Stephenville has made it to at least the regional tourney the last 5 straight years and won the state championship (their first) in 2017.
The Lady Raiders (pictured Saturday, April 13 with the regional trophy) advanced with its 1-0 extra time victory over Lorena(23-6-0).
The most recent Texas Girls Coaches Association 4A state rankings had the Honeybees Ranked #8 in that poll and Lumbeton #10. MaxPreps, another on-line ranking site, had the Bees holding the #1 spot in their most recent state rankings and the Lady Raiders at #8. A ranking that, no doubt, doesn’t take into account that the two losses on the Lady Raiders record (a 4A team) came at the hands of 6A schools.
The only common opponent between the two teams has been the China Spring Cougars (16-10-1). Both teams were able to earn victories over the Cougars. Lumberton defeated China Spring 3-0 in the 4A area playoff game on 4/2. Stephenville , who played CS twice, managed non-conferences wins on 1/19 & 3/1 with scores of 7-2 & 8-0 respectively.
So far, during these 4A playoffs, our Lumberton Lady Raiders have played 5 games scoring 19 goals for and surrendering just 1 goal against. The Bees have played 4 games (with a round one bye) scoring 24 goals and have surrendered 4 goals against.
Lumberton Lady Raider varsity Head Coach Jason Hopson has been quoted by one of his players on Twitter as having said, “This team (Stephenville) has something to lose and we (Lumberton) have something to win”.
When reached for comment senior team captain Kambrie McFarland, who recently set the Lady Raider record for goals scored in a single season & inked an athletic scholarship to McNeese University, had this to say “We had people doubt us but that wasn’t our focus. All of us believed in our ability and each other through preseason, district, playoffs, and I’m, as a captain and senior, continuing to express my thoughts on confidence and how important it is on and off the field. Confidence is intimidating and of each and every player is confident within each other, everyone should be able to focus on their job and we should be able to play with grace and dominate the game. Our goal is to go into every game the same way-110% from the first whistle to the last. If we don’t give up, no one can stop us.”
On the other side of the 4A girls state tournament bracket, Region II champion Melissa (16-0-2) will take on Region IV winner Liberty Hill (23-2-2) in the 1:30 p.m. semifinal game on Wednesday.
The winners of those two semifinal games will play in the state championship game at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18 also at Georgetown High School.