ALEDO – The Waxahachie Lady Indians’ defense continued to shine in Friday’s big win against El Paso Eastlake.
Through six games this year, Waxahachie has allowed just one goal. But sometimes the offense has been tough to come by as the Lady Indians have scored just six.
With that staunch defense, the team is beginning to really believe that with two goals, they pretty much lock up a victory. That’s exactly what happened Friday as Waxahachie beat El Paso Eastlake 2-0 in its second game of the Seventh Annual Aledo Moritz Kia Tournament of Champions.
“We aren’t exactly scoring in buckets yet, but I really think we’re doing a really great job defensively,” Waxahachie soccer coach Jason Venable said. “We’re starting to get a little more confidence and the defense isn’t really giving up any chances to teams and that makes things a lot easier.”
Eastlake really only had one decent shot in this game, but senior goalie Erin Moon snuffed that out en route to her fifth shut out of the season. The only goal she’s allowed came in Waxahachie’s 1-0 loss to Mesquite Horn off a deflected shot just a few minutes in.
The Lady Indians got the eventual game-winning goal just 21 minutes into the match off a great individual effort by Karleigh Hector. The junior forward ferociously attacked the heart of the Eastlake defense and ran through three defenders. The keeper came up to try and cut off her angle, but Hector just dribbled the ball past her and it rolled straight into the back of the net.
“I just saw the opportunity and took it,” Hector said. “It felt good because I think the early goal gives us motivation. That way we know we can score, it’s just a matter of doing it.”
A similar aggressive style of play allowed for Waxahachie’s second goal of the match late in the first half. Marybeth Martin attacked the defense, very
similarly to what Hector did, but the keeper was able to stop her shot.
Fortunately for Waxahachie, the ball kicked right to Millie Atkins, who buried it in the back of the net for her first goal of the season.
Expect to see more of that aggressive style of offense now that the Lady Indians are finding success with it.
“We’re getting more attacks and getting more intensity up top,” Hector said. “It’s not just about playing through balls for us now. We’re trying to make things happen on the offense.”
The three regular starting forwards for Waxahachie are Hector, Martin and Tierney Thomison, all juniors, and they are still trying to find the way to fill in for the goals that graduated last year in the form of Lindsey Williams.
But the three know that it will come with experience. They all got a lot of playing time last season and that just has made them better this year.
“We’re starting to get more chemistry together,” Hector said. “It can take more than a year to really get used to playing with somebody. And with people graduating or freshman coming it, it’s tough to always get that.”
Venable likes the progress his offense is making.
“It’s good to see them get going,” Venable said. “I think we will keep getting better at it, but this was a good effort to see.”
Both the players and the coach like the way this defense, led by Haley Atkins, Griselda Burciaga and Micca Mottla has played.
“We’re very comfortable with them back there,” Hector said. “It’s great knowing that if we can just find a way to score, we’re probably going to win the game. Two goals and it’s pretty much a definite win.”
The Lady Indians (3-1-2) will return hom at 7:30 p.m. Monday to take on Dallas Seagoville.
This will be the team’s senior night for it’s six seniors: Atkins, Burciaga, Jacey Hamilton, Kayla Lawrence, Moon and Vanessa Rivas.
Hamilton has missed all season with a knee injury, but she is expected to be back before district play begins Feb. 12.