John Tyler’s parallel paths produced the same result: a victory over Jacksonville in a warm-up soccer doubleheader Tuesday at Tyler Junior College.
Abner Barrera scored a pair of goals to lead the Lions to a 4-1 victory over Jacksonville on Pat Hartley Field’s grass surface.
Mary Sue Rosales and Andrea Araiza both found the net in the Lady Lions’ 2-0 win over Jacksonville on the nearby turf.
The Lions (16-5-1) produced all their goals by halftime. Barrera opened the scoring with a kick from just outside the box. Greg Vargas followed with JT’s next goal after Jacksonville failed to clear the ball.
Barrera converted again before Porfirio Benitez scored off a pass from Jose Perez for JT’s final tally.
“We worked on some of the things we wanted to work on,” said Lions coach Howard Story, who coached the Jacksonville girls before his current post. “I think Jacksonville’s better than the score indicated. They had some looks in the first half. We put away our opportunities. Once they were in a hole it was hard. But it was good for us in preparation for (bi-district).”
Rosales punched in a penalty kick in the 15th minute. The Lady Lions (12-8-4) added the insurance goal later in the first half, started by Esparanza Zavaleta’s corner kick.
“The first half we controlled pretty well,” Lady Lions coach Paul Frye said. “Win, lose or draw, it was great practice for us. Even though it was a friendly, we still want that win. That was good.”
The Lions head into the postseason fresh off the school’s first district championship since the 1996 season under Demetrio Hernandez. The Lady Lions qualified for the playoffs for just the second time in school history, and the first time since 1999, when Hernandez guided the program. Hernandez, now the men and women’s coach at Wiley, attended Tuesday’s matches.
The JT teams continue in the same direction on Friday, with both set for bi-district matches at Hallsville’s Bobcat Stadium. The Lady Lions play Pine Tree at 6 p.m. before the Lions battle Hallsville at 8 p.m.