By Mike Phillips
Corsicana Daily Sun
Every time the kids on the Corsicana girls soccer team run the bleachers they have the same idea.
And every time they run those once-a-week special running drills, it's the same feeling.
They have a name for it.
“Hachie! We named our bleachers Hachie. When we run the bleachers we run a Hachie,'' said Makenzie Taylor, a senior midfielder. “The coach says, 'Go run a Hachie.' It makes us push harder because we want to beat them.''
“It's not a punishment run or anything like that,'' said senior defender Erika Salazar of the Hachie runs. “It's just we want to beat them, and that's why we call them Hachie.''
Just say the word, “Hachie” out loud around this team, and you will get the look — you know, That look, the one that tells you everything you need to know about this one-sided rivalry. The kids don't even say Waxahachie when they talk about the team they would love to beat. Nope, it's just Hachie, and they say it with an exclamation point every time — Hachie!
So guess who the Tigers play in the Class 4A sectional round of the playoffs at 7:00 p.m. on Friday night?
Yup, it's Hachie.
As Yogi Berra would say, “It's deja vu all over again.''
That's right, Corsicana's girls soccer team will play Waxahachie in the third round of the playoffs again, just like last year in Ennis.
“We're even playing them in the same place,'' Taylor said.
It's not just a rematch of last year's heartbreaking 2-1 playoff loss. This is the sixth time in two years the two teams meet in soccer. Waxahachie is 5-0, including four wins in district play and last year's sectional victory.
The Tigers feel it's time for a chance.
“We've played them twice this year so the third time is a charm,'' said senior midfielder Jenny Garcia, who has had a tremendous season for Corsicana. “We can play with them. We know them so well. We know all about them, what they do and we know their players. We have played them close before. We just haven't beaten them.''
There won't be a better time. Eight of Corsicana's starters are seniors, and as senior goalkeeper Cynthia Turrubriates said, “This is it.''
Turrubriates is coming off an amazing performance in the playoffs. She was inspirational last week in a 2-1 win over Dallas Woodrow Wilson in the area round of the playoffs. She had a dozen saves, including several highlight tape moments, and was especially tough in the final minutes.
Salazar and Mikayla Garcia, who anchor the defense, have both had big years as seniors, and both stepped up in the playoffs. That's important to know, because Corsicana Coach Stan Jones not only believes his kids can beat Waxahachie this time, but knows what they need to do to win the game.
“To be honest with you, we are going to have to play really good defense,'' Jones said at practice on Thursday. “Our kids have to get over the hump and be ready to run through a brick wall.''
To make things worse, Waxahachie may be better this year than a year ago when the Lady Indians edged Corsicana 2-1.
“They are coming in with a hot foot,'' Jones said. “They've got an 11-game winning streak. They're a very good passing team. We have to get back to playing our game, passing the ball and creating opportunities and not trying to have a track meet and hit a home run.''
Being underdogs won’t affect the way the Tigers approach the game.
“It could be a good thing,'' Jenny Garcia said. “If people underestimate you, it's a good feeling to prove people wrong.''
The attitude is different this year.
“I think before when we played them we were doubtful,'' Salazar said. “But we are more confident this time. I think we have to be smarter with the ball, and we have to be quicker than they are. Last week's game was intense, especially the last minutes. But I think we can play better than that this week.''
The Tigers have changed their game and are playing much better in the postseason.
“I think our passing right now is 10 times better than it was earlier in the year,'' Turrubiartes said.
Mikayla Garcia added: “I think we are more prepared. “This year is like our second chance. I think we want it more.''
Taylor said she will never forget last year's loss.
“I cried after that game,'' she said. “We were so close to beating them. We have to put our heart into it this game. Instead of giving it 150 percent, we need to give it 250 percent.
“We just need to give it our all, everything. The starting lineup is almost all seniors and we have to play this game like it's our last game — make everything count, every pass, every play. If they make a bad pass or a bad touch, we've got to take that opportunity. I don't want to cry this year. I want to beat them.''
Salazar didn't cry after last year's loss.
“No, I didn't cry when we lost to them,'' she said. “But if we beat them I will cry. I feel we have more heart and we can beat them.
“If we beat them we won't have to call those drills Hachie any more,'' she said. “Maybe they will have a drill they call Cana.''