WAXAHACHIE — While the first few games of the district schedule can be a veritable cake walk for some teams, for others it's a gauntlet.
Waxahachie, which faced three of the best soccer teams in the state in back-to-back-to-back matchups, found its first win in two games after knocking off Mansfield Timberview High School 9-4 Tuesday night at R.L. Stadium.
"It's been a gauntlet," said Jason Venable, the head girls' soccer coach at Waxahachie High School. "In our district, we've got the top three or four teams that are really good and three or four teams on the middle ground and about three teams in the bottom end. We're in that middle ground until we figure out where we stand in the district."
He said winning games they should and others they shouldn't will bring some clarity concerning the district standings picture for Waxahachie fans. Performances like Tuesday night's scoring barrage can't help by further that cause.
The (6-5-1, 2-3) Lady Indians had six different scorers — including Yossely Cazares and Kailee Norman who scored their first of the year — and four players record at least one assist in the victory. Three of the four goals in the first half came on Ariana Acosta assists.
Sophomore Danielle Kyle also had an assist.
"That's really good because it means we're spreading the wealth and not leaning on one or two scorers like we did early in and last season," he added. "I think one of the first things I said to the girls in the locker room was that 9-4 looks like it should have been the final score of an Indians' baseball game. You don't see those very often in soccer."
The opening score on the night came via an unassisted goal by Madelynn James after the sophomore juked a defender and placed a kick 35 yards out under the crossbar and just above the outstretched fingers of Mansfield Timberview's goalkeeper.
It wasn't the prettiest goal of the night, though. James and Venable both said that honor belonged to senior Abigail Martinez.
"The goalkeeper tried to go for [James' goal], but it was perfectly placed and she missed it," Venable said. "The first goal of the second half was really sweet. We've been working on our set pieces and corner kicks and I couldn't have drawn that one up any better. It was a play that both Ariana and Madelynn got involved in and that Abby finished perfectly."
Sophomore Alyssa Stevens scored both of her goals in the second half and Martinez, who netted another goal after outmaneuvering and scoring singlehandedly against the Lady Wolf defense after a Venable's halftime challenge.
"She's the total team player, but sometimes she needs to take the initiative to score. It's something we've talked about for four years," he continued. "Tonight she did and kind of proved it to me in a kind of 'there, is that good' sort of way. Abby just decided to take everybody on at the end of the game and beat them all and scored her second."
With the win, Waxahachie remained in the middle of the District 10-5A standings above programs like Mansfield Timberview, Lancaster and Mansfield Summit High Schools and below the likes of Red Oak, Mansfield Lake Ridge and Mansfield Legacy High Schools.
The Lady Indians will face Lancaster at 6 p.m. Friday at Lumpkins Stadium during Senior Night. Venable called both the Lancaster matchup and Tuesday's game against Mansfield Lake Ridge "must-win" games.
"We're all pretty close and there's not much separation from the top of the district to the bottom," he said. "Timberview's not bad and Summit's one of those teams that's probably going to upset somebody. The girls stepped it up in one of the games we had to win. Friday's another one because you don't really know until the end of the first round. Somebody's record may look great, but they may have played three of the weaker teams first or vice versa. It's still a long soccer season and things can change in an instant."
Marcus S. Marion can be reached for story idea submissions or concerns at (469) 517-1456. Follow him on Twitter at @MarcusMarionWNI.