The Waxahachie boys soccer team got its first taste of real game action Friday.
Lumpkins Stadium hosted a day full of games featuring varsity and JV teams from Waxahachie, Fort Worth Trimble Tech and Kaufman. Each varsity team played each other, as did the JV teams.
Waxahachie’s varsity team fought hard both games and managed draws against both Trimble Tech and Kaufman.
First, the team took on Trimble Tech and that contest ended in a 2-2 draw. This was the first varsity game of the day and was least affected by the cold weather, but the wind played a factor.
The team with the wind at its back tends to have an advantage, but both teams scored once with and against the wind.
Waxahachie had the wind first and had several opportunities to take an early lead, but Tech’s goalie made an incredible, one-handed, point-blank, diving save on an Isiah Parrish shot to keep the game scoreless. The keeper caught a break next time when Indian senior Ivan Anaya blasted a shot from 20 yards out, but it banged harmlessly off the crossbar.
Those were the two best chances either team had to score most of the first half, but Tech found a way to score when it just touched one over the Indian keeper’s head to take a 1-0 lead with 15 minutes left in the first half.
Waxahachie tied it up eight minutes before the break as Anaya made up for his shot of the crossbar early on. He took the ball near the 20-yard mark, dribbled a few more feet closer to the goal and lifted another high shot towards the net. This time, it found nylon as he evened the score.
After a short intermission, the teams flipped sides and once again Trimble Tech scored first. The Indians needed to get another goal, and once again, Anaya played a key roll in it.
He took the ball up the field, dribbled around one defender and sent a hard, low shot at the keeper from about 20 yards out. The goalie stopped it, but the ball rebounded straight to the foot of Alan Velasquez, who tapped in the equalizer on a wide-open net.
That was all the offense the teams mustered the rest of the cold, blistery game. While these scrimmages don’t mean anything in the record books, it’s a big morale booster for the Indians as the Bulldogs went to the second round of the playoffs last season. Waxahachie is once again seeking its first playoff victory.
In the second game, Waxahachie and Kaufman traded missed opportunities in the halves, but neither team found the back of the net in the 0-0 tie.
Kaufman controlled play for most of the first half, while Waxahachie took over in the second. While neither team found the net, this is another strong performance for the Indians as the Lions reached the third round of the playoffs a season ago.
Despite not getting a win, Waxahachie coach Jason Venable is pleased with what he saw.
“We have lots to work on and clean up, but we saw some great and encouraging things from some players new to the team,” Venable said. “The effort and desire to improve is obvious with this bunch.”
The team graduated a little bit of fire power last year, but it replaces that with plenty of younger players that work really well together.
Anaya, Matthew Berning and Orlando Andrade are a couple of the key returning players, but the fresh faces will be huge this year.
Waxahachie added football players Braden Henry and Parrish to the team to add a little bit of speed. One of the fastest players on the team is freshman Jordy Ortiz, whom Venable is especially excited to see play.
The Indians used a pair of goalies Friday, Miguel Munoz and Zach Richardson. Munoz got the start in both games, but a knee injury in the first game saw him leave the game early. Munoz played the first half of the second game as well, but Venable rested him, and his achy knee in the second half. Richardson fared just as well and didn’t allow a goal all day.
The Indians will scrimmage Alvarado on the road at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and their regular season will begin as part of the 287 Tournament. The Indians’ first game will be at 3 p.m. Thursday versus Mabank at Lumpkins Stadium.