It is time for a challenge and the Waxahachie Lady Indians are ready.
Finishing the regular season with an 18-1-4 record the Lady Indians will open the Class 4A playoffs in the area round at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Seagoville at Forester Field in Dallas.
The Lady Indians are one of the top teams in the area as the second round of the playoffs opens this week after rolling through District 28-4A with a 9-0-1 record while outscoring opponents 66-2.
On the season the Lady Indians have outscored opponents 101-10 with their only loss coming to District 12-4A champ Aledo in their final non-district play. Waxahachie was without the services of all-state goalkeeper Sarah Hay against Aledo and surrendered four goals in a 4-0 loss. Aledo won 1-0 in Region I bi-district play Friday.
The only other time Waxahachie allowed more than a goal in a game was a 2-2 tie against Mansfield Timberview in tournament play.
With Hay in the goal the Lady Indians have posted 16 shutouts this season and teams are averaging just .3 goals per game while the powerful Waxahachie offense is scoring an average of 4.4 goals per game.
The winner of Tuesday’s game will play the winner of the Ennis-Wilson game in the sectional playoffs before advancing to the Region II quarterfinals April 4-5.
Waxahachie defeated Ennis twice in district play, 4-1 and 5-0, but has yet to face Wilson.
Last season the Lady Indians opened the playoffs in the area round against Dallas Adamson, the District 25-4A champ, and rolled to an easy 4-1 win at John Kincaide Stadium before defeating Dallas Wilson 8-0 in sectionals. Wilson defeated Ennis en route to the game against Waxahachie.
Back in the regional quarterfinals for the second straight year the Lady Indians used their experience to top Longview Pine Tree in Eustace to advance to the Region II tournament for just the second time in school history.
At the tournament the Lady Indians ran into Longview, now a Class 5A school, and were held scoreless in a 1-0 loss. It was the second consecutive year Waxahachie was bounced from the playoffs by Longview.
J.J. Pearce defeated Longview for the Region II championship before showing how strong the region was by winning the state championship.
Pearce is back in the playoffs this season but as the fourth seed from District 20-4A with all but four players back from last year’s team. Those four however scored the majority of the team’s goals last season and it showed in a 1-0 win Friday. Waxahachie would not face Pearce until the regional championship game this season.
Pine Tree won District 32-4A this season and could possibly meet the Lady Indians again in the regional quarterfinals if both teams can win two more games. It would be Waxahachie’s toughest test in the playoffs before returning to the regional tournament.
At the beginning of the season Waxahachie had high hopes for a strong run through the regular season and deep into the playoffs. With 18 wins in the regular season and the second district championship in school history the high hopes for the season were met.
Along the way senior Emily Saunders posted five hat tricks to lead the team in scoring once again while three others also posted double digits in scoring.
Saunders finished the regular season with 31 goals and is nine shy of the school record while last year’s second leading scorer Jacey Hamilton has played up front and in the midfield and is still the second leading scorer this year with 16 goals.
Senior defender Natalie Kelly is third with 13 goals while freshman Karleigh Hector is fourth in scoring with 11 goals.
Overall nine players have scored four or more goals for the Lady Indians as the offense is one of the most explosive attacks Waxahachie has boasted since the inception of the program in 2000.
With regular season goals accomplished the Lady Indians are looking ahead toward their playoff goals, to return to the regional tournament and then advance to state.
Frisco Wakeland and Carrollton Creekview are the top two teams in the upper bracket that Waxahachie could face in the opening round of the Region II tournament April 8-9 at Carrollton’s Standridge Stadium.
Both are district champs while Wakeland boasted a 17-2-1 record entering the playoffs while Creekview was 14-1-5 with its lone loss coming to a Class 5A school. The two teams could run into each other two rounds before the tournament in the sectionals.
On the opposite side of the bracket the Lady Indians could face off against rival Red Oak in the Region II final on April 9 if the Lady Hawks can get through top teams like Whitehouse, Pearce, McKinney North, Forney, Rockwall and Mount Pleasant.
After the regular season Waxahachie had a warm-up game against District 21-4A champ Rockwall and lost 2-1. Waxahachie rotated players throughout the game against Rockwall and kept most of the top scorers out the second half to stay healthy for the playoff run. Rockwall defeated Conrad 6-0 to open the playoffs.
Waxahachie’s ultimate goal is to win the state championship, seven more wins and they will do just that in Georgetown at Birkelback Field.