MANSFIELD — The Waxahachie High School girls varsity soccer team entered the game looking to beat district 14-5A’s best team and clinch its eighth consecutive playoff berth, but fate had other ideas.
The Lady Indians fell to Mansfield Lake Ridge High School 5-1 on Friday at R.L. Stadium, almost assuredly putting them in a tie for fourth place with Mansfield Timberview High School.
“We probably played our best soccer during the first half,” said Jason Venable, the Lady Indians head soccer coach. “After they scored during the first minute of the second half and again 10 minutes later, we were sitting with a deficit with only 25 minutes on the clock. It kind of drained us and took all the wind from underneath our wings.”
The Lady Indians’ only goal of the night was scored by junior Ariana Acosta on an assist from junior Abby Martinez.
Venable said when the girls boarded the bus, they thought they’d have to fight for their right to play postseason soccer.
Waxahachie, however, had some help from an Ellis County rival. Red Oak High School’s Lady Hawks, who beat Mansfield Timberview 4-1 on Friday at Billy Goodloe Stadium, dropped the Lady Wolves to 5-8-2 and out of the playoff picture.
“It’s a good feeling to get in, especially with some of the adversity we’ve faced this year, but it’s still kind of disheartening because you don’t like the way you finished the game,” Venable said. “We played the first half well, we just need to figure out how to play 80 minutes like we did the first.”
Though the Lady Indians’ matches against Mansfield Legacy High School and Ennis High School won’t matter to their playoff standing, Venable said they are good games to build momentum toward the postseason. The first kick against Legacy starts at 7:15 p.m. on Monday at R.L. Stadium and the team plays Ennis on March 16 at Lions Memorial Stadium.
“We really want to get on a little streak before the playoffs hit and we get back in,” he said. “It’s not really the way you want to get in, but it’s all about getting to the playoffs. If we get deep enough, since we’re the No. 4 team, we’ll have the opportunity to face them again.”