One year removed from a heartbreaking bi-district loss against Cleburne and near-hurricane winds, the Waxahachie Indian soccer team gots its revenge.
Two early goals and a third in the second half propelled the Indians past the Yellowjackets and into the area round of the 5A soccer playoffs. Waxahachie defeated Cleburne 3-nil Thursday night on the pitch at Mansfield Legacy High School to earn a 5A Region II Bi-District championship.
After the game, Waxahachie head boys' soccer coach Seth Riley said he thought the two early goals allowed for the Indians to play with a heightened level of confidence and put pressure on Cleburne to equalize.
“I thought we came out and did exactly what we wanted to do," Riley said. "Last year with us playing the way we did, we knew that if we just came out, and could get an early goal, then we could open it up. And that is what we did."
Jordan Beechum, Raymond Kennedy and Emmanuel Nwokonko all scored goals for the Tribe in the win, while Rolando Nieto, Edgar Nava and Kennedy chipped in assists.
With a laugh, Riley added that not having to fight against 20-plus mile-per-hour winds blowing from one goal post through the other like last year "definitely helps."
“We are good going against those kinds of elements, but I think it kind of helps other teams," he explained. "It was definitely nice to have fair weather because it kind of provides an equal playing field.”
Waxahachie, which won its second straight District 10-5A crown this season, fell to Cleburne 2-0 in last year's bi-district round.
Riley said the revenge win is nice but "you still wish you had the same group to come back and do it."
"It is always nice to be able to do it with some of the guys who were here and some of the guys who knew how much it meant to those guys," Riley added. "Unfortunately, it just ended so early last year, but we were able to come back and pick up a little bit from where we left off last year.”
The win improved the Indians to 18-4-2 on the season. Waxahachie has not lost a match since falling 2-1 Feb. 6 against Mansfield Timberview.
The Indians face Woodrow Wilson in the 5A Region II area championship at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Wilmer Hutchins High School.