MANSFIELD — The varsity Lady Indians picked up their first district game of the season, beating Mansfield Summit High School on Tuesday at MSHS on the strength of three goals by three different players and a near shutout by goalkeeper Taylor Camp.
Waxahachie High School (7-1-1, 1-0) also capped back-to-back wins against area rivals. The Lady Indians shut out Ennis High School 2-0 on Friday night.
"The win last night against Mansfield Summit was a good start to a difficult district stretch during the first round of district play this season," said Jason Venable, the Lady Indians' head girls' soccer coach. "After facing as much adversity and injuries as we have this season, it's nice to finally see a consistent rotation of players and a better understanding of their roles on the field. We have experimented some with our formation and that took some adjustment by the players. We are fairly young and have six to seven sophomores playing lots of minutes, but the senior leadership has started to show. That was more evident last night than all season."
Waxahachie won its first girls' soccer district match with the help of senior Abigail Martinez, sophomores Danielle Kyle and Alyssa Stevens, who aimed well-timed shots and scored goals from seemingly from every angle of the soccer pitch, and assists from Kyle and Martinez.
Martinez earned No. 11 on the Waxahachie girls' soccer program in single-season goals last season after scoring 16. She is behind former Lady Indians Mackenzie Posey (19), Tierney Thomison (23), Veronica Najera (35) and Emily Saunders (38).
Katie Hinds owns the No. 1 (40 goals), No. 6 (34 goals) and shares the No. 3 position with Najera and Saunders and the No. 9 (19 goals) position with Posey. Martinez has seven goals and four assists through nine games this season.
Venable said the increased vocal nature of Martinez and fellow senior Ariana Acosta, his two captains, is also a key factor in the Lady Indians' early season success.
"The juniors on the field are stepping up, too," Venable said with a grin. "They — especially Klarisa Thomas and Ryleigh Horn — are learning how important they are to this team defensively. We hope to take this thing one game at a time and know the next district contest will be a tough one against a really good Red Oak squad that beat Timberview pretty badly in their district opener. We know the talent that lies in our district and that we will need to get better each game to make a run at the postseason. I like how this group seems to be coming together after such a rocky offseason and early non-district and tournament games. We finally seem to be getting the identity we have been searching for."
Waxahachie will face Red Oak High School at 7:30 p.m. at Lumpkins Stadium during the program's Alumni night. The (1-0) Lady Hawks beat Mansfield Timberview High School 8-1 Tuesday night at Billy Goodloe Stadium.
Marcus S. Marion can be reached for story idea submissions or concerns at (469) 517-1456. Follow him on Twitter @MarcusMarionWNI.