BROWNSVILLE — The Brownsville ISD soccer tournament kicked off Thursday without a hitch as a total of 60 teams (32 girls and 28 boys) hit the field set to play 224 matches throughout the three-day tournament.
One of the boys teams eager to build on last season’s success was Harlingen South.
The Hawks started the tournament with a 1-0 win over Laredo St. Agustin before posting their second victory of the day with a 2-1 win over Brownsville Pace. However, it wasn’t all positive news for the Hawks as McAllen Rowe handed South their first loss of the day with a crushing 5-0 defeat to cap off day one.
While the team did make progress by capturing a postseason berth a year ago, this season the team returns just two starters and will field a host of freshmen.
“With so many players graduating from last year’s team, we have a lot of players that have not played on varsity and they’re learning and they’re learning to do something new and they’re making mistakes,” said Harlingen South head coach Julian Robles.
“We understand they are going to make mistakes but eventually they are going to get better and eventually they are going to learn from their mistakes. We understand that its part of it after having the good group that we had but we’re hoping to start a tradition at Harlingen South where we don’t have to rebuild we want to reload and be competitive every year.”
Another boys squad hoping to build on last year’s success is the Rio Hondo Bobcats. After making the postseason in their inaugural season, the Bobcats return a total of eight starters including Jose Meza, Jimmy Weaver, Edgar Marrioquin, Matt Cuellar, Alfonso Lopez and Oscar Cabello. The team also features some new talent like football star Eric Pizarro.
The Bobcats began the day with a 5-0 loss to Mission before suffering another 5-3 loss to San Benito.
However, while the results might not have gone in the Bobcats’ favor, Rio Hondo head coach Candido Ochoa II insists the team will learn from the tough competition.
“I’m proud of my team because they showed a lot of heart and a lot of promise,” said Ochoa. “We’re playing some tough competition that will prepare us well for our district matchups.
“We have a goal of winning district and making a playoff run but it all starts by getting great practice at a top level tournament like the one the BISD offers.”
The Bobcats wrapped up day one with a 7-0 loss to PSJA Southwest.
GIRLS TOURNAMENT: The Harlingen Lady Cardinals were back in action at the BISD. After an impressive showing at the Laredo soccer tournament where the team reached semifinals, Harlingen head coach Debra Hernandez and her team is ready to leave a mark in Brownsville.
“Right now we are moving players around and trying to figure out their best positions and where I’ve been putting them they have really been excelling,” said Hernandez. “This year what we have is a lot of team unity and you can see it when you get them to pass the ball more and they are performing at the level we want them too. Now we can always improve and get better and right now our defense is what we are really working on because communication is key and that is something we are really working on right now.”
The tweaks seem to be working as the Lady Cardinals began the tournament with a 6-0 victory over Rio Grande City before defeating Edinburg Economedes 2-1. Penalty kicks for their final match of the day were postponed for 2 p.m. today due to strong winds on Tuesday night.