WAXAHACHIE — When Waxahachie took to the soccer pitch Friday evening it needed a win to keep its hopes of a split district championship alive. Unbeknownst to the Indian soccer team at the time, but the action between Mansfield Legacy and front running Mansfield Lake Ridge had turned into a nail bitter.
On one side of town, Tyson Beechum netted his first hat trick of the season to lift (14-1-4, 7-1-4) Waxahachie over Mansfield Timberview, 7-1. On the other side of town (11-1-6, 8-1-3), Lake Ridge and Legacy ended in a 1-1 draw.
The fallout puts Waxahachie just one point behind the Eagles in the District 10-5A standings, 19 to 18. It also means the Indians, with a win on Tuesday, will have an opportunity for an outright district championship Friday evening at Vernon Newsom Stadium in Mansfield against Lake Ridge.
With the hat trick, Beechum now leads the Indians with eight goals on the season, one ahead of Rolando Nieto (7) who also scored on Friday in Mansfield. Waxahachie also got scoring contributions from Gama Chavez, Kevin Graciano and sophomore defender Ryan Hay.
Although Kade Tomlinson did allow a goal, he still leads District 10-5A with just five goals allowed during district play and nine on the season. Waxahachie is the only team in the district to not have allowed double-digit goals this season. Lake Ridge is second with eight goals allowed in district play and 13 total on the season.
After a draw against the Midlothian Panthers Friday, Feb. 24, Indian head coach Seth Riley said "if we take care of what we need to on our own and take care of business then hopefully that last game against Lake Ridge is for something. Just going back to last year, we were one of the only top teams in the district to beat all of the teams that we should have beaten. The other top teams tied or lost to somebody below them that they shouldn't have. We just had to beat the teams we were supposed to beat. We have that mindset this year."
Through the first two games post-statement, the Indians have done just as Riley said they would — beat two teams below them in the district standings. The mindset will be tested once again Tuesday when the Indians travel to Lancaster for a 6 p.m. showdown against the Tigers. Waxahachie defeated Lancaster 5-0 Feb. 10.
With a repeat performance, the Indians will have a shot at the first district championship in program history on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith