The season is starting off about as well as possible for the Waxahachie girls’ soccer team.
The team has two convincing wins in the 287 Tournament after dominating Dallas Woodrow Wilson 9-1 in the event’s semifinal match.
Waxahachie was hoping for a bit more of a challenge after dominating the first round game 15-0 against Quinlan, but it is playing well early on. That’s even more impressive after the team has made a few tweaks to its strategy.
“We’ve changed a lot on formations. We’ve been successful for several years, but we thought we needed to make a change,” Waxahachie coach Jason Venable said. “They are really coming along in the new formation. But we’re not there yet. We have made a lot of progress in a short period of time.”
Part of the reason for the change is because of the emergence of several talented freshman players. Four of the team’s nine goals Friday came off the foot of a freshman, including three from Ariana Acosta for her first career hat trick.
“It felt really cool. All the other players did a good job of getting me the ball,” Acosta said. “It feels good to score because it’s not something that happens often. I’m proud of that and everyone around me.”
She may not score as often once district play roles around, but she’s got five goals already in the team’s first two games.
Her first goal came late in the first half and gave the Lady Indians a 5-0 lead. Her second two scores came in the final two minutes of the game. On both occasions, she just used her speed to run past the defender and get a one-on-one opportunity with the goalie. Both times, the goalie had no shot.
“They were just there. Aeriel (Horton) and Jessica Bahena just got the ball to me and I was able to score,” Acosta said.
Venable is really excited to see what Acosta and the rest of his freshmen can do in this new formation.
“Acosta got two the other day and Lexi Workman, the other freshman, is getting some good minutes already,” Venable said. “Belle (Prachyl) is as solid as can be in the back. When you look at us, all three lines, we’re probably as solid as we’ve ever been. From what we’ve seen, we’re going to be solid just about everywhere.”
Possibly the best of the four freshmen on the varsity team is Abigail Martinez. She scored the first goal of the game just eight minutes in. She worked the ball around the defender and appeared to fake a hard shot and just tapped the ball hard enough to roll past the goalie. The keeper had come about 15 yards out and the ball found its way the final 50 feet to the net.
“Abi is just phenomenal. For just a freshman, she’s been unreal,” Venable said. “Everything seems so effortless and she’s just so smooth.”
While the freshmen are progressing, the team will go as far as the veterans take them this year. Senior forward Tierney Thomison scored a pair of goals in this contest. She blew past the defense for her first goal early in the game and then early in the second half she took a shot and got her own rebound, which she put in the back of the net.
Millie Atkins got her goal in the game on a similar situation as she got her own rebound off a shot and buried it late in the first half.
Aeriel Horton set up a Karleigh Hector header midway through the first half with a great corner kick. Horton then got her own goal with just 13 minutes left in the game as she was able to beat her defender and get a one-on-one with the keeper and finish strong.
The Lady Indians (2-0) finished the 287 Tournament in the championship game Saturday afternoon. See how the team fared in Tuesday’s Waxahachie Daily Light. Waxahachie will be in action again at 7 p.m. Monday when it travels to Stephenville. The team will also play in a tournament in Aledo next week starting Thursday.
The next home game for the Lady Indians will be at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 24 against Joshua.