Ven(er)able: Lady Indians head soccer coach earns 500th career victory
Milestone match ends with 21 minutes left after DeSoto red card
The Waxahachie Lady Indians’ No. 3 playoff seeding had already been set before Tuesday night’s regular-season-ending match against DeSoto. But one more thing had to be settled: head coach Jason Venable’s pursuit of career victory No. 500.
In a bizarre fashion, that milestone was achieved on Tuesday night as the Lady Indians won a shortened game at Lumpkins Stadium, 5-0.
With 21 minutes left in the second half, the match was abandoned as the Lady Eagles left the pitch and ultimately boarded the bus after one of their players, wearing the No. 8 jersey, was red-carded and sent off for punching freshman Emilee Jones near midfield, leaving the visitors with 10 women against 11 in a blowout. Jones was going after a loose ball when she was punched.
Because the game had reached halftime according to University Interscholastic League rules, the 5-0 final outcome will be official and the Lady Indian goals scored will count.
“Thank each of you, I am very fortunate and blessed to have coached so many great kids,” Venable posted on social media afterward.
A goal by Kaydence Ramirez before halftime sent WHS into the locker room with a 4-0 lead, and Bella Curiel made it 5-0 in the first minutes of the second half as she deked the DeSoto goalkeeper and found an empty net.
Lady Indian keeper Liv Epps kept her eighth consecutive clean sheet, a run that includes seven victories and one draw.
Venable will lead the Lady Indians (17-3-3, 9-3-2) into his 23rd playoff appearance at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Waco Midway’s Panther Stadium against Bryan.
Venable has been with Waxahachie ISD since 2003 and has an overall career record of 500-220-90. He has dedicated a combined 36 seasons (18 boys, 18 girls) as a head soccer coach at Waxahachie, Midlothian, and Colleyville Heritage High Schools. His 300th career victory at WHS is possible this year with a deep playoff run as he has compiled a 294-66-43 record on the sidelines with the Lady Indians.
Venable also has a 206-154-47 combined record while leading the three boys programs at Midlothian, Colleyville Heritage and Waxahachie. Venable gave up the WHS boys’ job before the 2015 season to concentrate on coaching girls’ soccer.
Venable was inducted into the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches (TASCO) Hall of Honor in 2018 and holds numerous other awards.
The WHS boys’ soccer team, meanwhile, is also playoff-bound and will soon announce its bi-district playoff details.
The Indians (11-9-1, 8-4-1) will host Corsicana in a warm-up match at Lumpkins Stadium on Tuesday at 6 p.m., and will face Belton in the bi-district round of the Class 6A Region II playoffs at a site and time to be determined.