Waxahachie claimed the 2009 District 28-4A championship with a 9-0-1 record picking up two wins against Red Oak along the way. In 2010 the Lady Hawks defeated Waxahachie in the first district meeting before the teams tied the second meeting leaving Red Oak as the 2010 district champs.
With a possible 2011 District 28-4A championship on the line Tuesday night at Wilemon Field the two rivals met again for another classic battle.
Both teams were held without a goal in the first meeting this season resulting in a 0-0 tie in Red Oak and entered Tuesday’s game with identical 7-0-1 records in district.
In the 13th minute of Tuesday’s action Waxahachie freshman Tierney Thomison broke the two-game scoring drought between the teams with an impressive long distance goal from the right side, opening up the offense as the Lady Indian rolled on to win 5-0.
“The Tierney shot early gave us some confidence. We out hustled them, was winning every ball and the girls really played hard tonight,” Waxahachie head coach Jason Venable said. “We have only got 12 healthy players and did not sub at all in the first half so I was kind of worried about the second half getting a little tired. But we got that second one in and got a little breathing room. You never anticipate scoring five on them and winning like you do. The 5-0 finale here at home for the seniors has to be good for them. We did it on the grass. They all complained about playing on grass in the beginning but we did pretty good on it.”
Waxahachie finished its home schedule with an 8-0 record and kept its eight-game shutout streak in district play intact as the play of all-state goal keeper Sarah Hay and the Waxahachie defense kept Red Oak from getting a solid shot on goal the entire second half.
“The defense knew what we had to do going in, and we did it. We played smart against Red Oak’s key players the entire game and did not let them beat us even off the ball,” Waxahachie senior defender Caroline Clifton said. “We knew going in it was going to be a hard game, but that we also had a chance. Everyone played to the best of their ability, especially our young freshmen. After our play this season we deserve the championship, and we’re expecting to go far in playoffs. I can’t imagine a better way to play our last home game. Every senior played hard tonight. I’m so proud of everyone on our team.”
With an 8-0-1 record in district play the Lady Indians are one win away from completing an undefeated district campaign with a road game scheduled for Friday in Corsicana.
The Lady Tigers were no match for Waxahachie in the first round of action as the Lady Indians blew past Corsicana 7-0 in Waxahachie.
A win Friday seals the district championship outright for Waxahachie. Even with a loss the Lady Indians will still enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed from 28-4A because of head-to-head action with Red Oak and a goal-scored differential.
Thomison’s goal was the difference at the half Tuesday as the Lady Indians held a 1-0 lead before fellow freshman Karleigh Hector scored in the 45th minute to give Waxahachie a 2-0 lead.
Sara Sanchez passed the ball ahead to senior Emily Saunders, who was closely guarded by Red Oak defenders before launching a shot that bounced off the hand of the Red Oak keeper. Hector was there for the follow up and pushed the ball into the back of the right side of the net.
Waxahachie’s offense continued to heat up in the second half as Saunders picked up back-to-back goals in less than three minutes forcing Red Oak to make several changes in goal.
Trying to find the right combination Red Oak made three changes in the goal but the Waxahachie offense would not be denied.
Saunders picked up her first goal in the 50th minute on a header as senior Natalie Kelly launched a corner kick toward the middle of the goal that Saunders bounced to the right of the keeper.
Minutes later Saunders created a one-on-one opportunity with the keeper that she easily won to give the Lady Indians a 4-0 lead with 30 minutes left to play.
“I think everybody really wanted to work hard since it is our last home game ever. Everybody pulled together and we all played really hard for each other. It was awesome to beat Red Oak in our last home game,” Saunders said.
Sophomore Jacey Hamilton added a goal in the 57th minute before the Waxahachie defense held Red Oak without a shot attempt the rest of the game.
“I am not surprised by the final score because I feel like we could have beat them last time. We played as good as we could tonight and everybody worked really hard,” Saunders added. “We really needed a game like this. This is probably our best game of the season and to play good against a good team like Red Oak it boosts our confidence a little more for the playoffs where we are going to face harder teams.”
Red Oak had one strong scoring opportunity in the 12th minute that missed just wide right before the Waxahachie defense put the clamps down and made sure to keep its shutout streak alive.
“I don’t know if we allowed any real hard shots on goal in the second half. There was a couple of balls that just rolled back to Sarah and they had a couple of shots that just missed but defensively we played well,” Venable said.
“We like to play Lindsey Williams in the back against some of the strong teams and put Natalie in front of her and that really paid off tonight. We don’t always do that but we have figured out that it is the magic formula for us to get these shutouts like we have been getting.”
With Williams, Rian Smith, Clifton, Danielle Tesei and the rest of the Lady Indians playing lights out defensively it created a heap of problems for Red Oak that led to a mental breakdown, according to Lady Hawk head coach Laurie Norrell.
“I think it was a mental game,” Norrell said. “Physically we are two well matched teams but we had a mental breakdown and could never recover from it. This was a big game and we let one thing get to us and just crumbled.
“Waxahachie is a good team, a very good team. We just have to draw from this and hopefully get mentally tougher. We have to use this as an example. We can’t have a mental breakdown and just collapse like we did.”
Waxahachie plays at 7 p.m. in Corsicana on Friday while Red Oak, likely the No. 2 seed in district, hosts Ennis before both teams enter the playoffs. District 28-4A teams have a first-round playoff bye and will open the area playoffs the week of March 28.