Lions face Texas High today in 4A area soccer playoff

John Tyler's Aldo Alvarado (8) kicks a ball over a defender in a game played earlier this season. The Lions rallied to win their 4A playoff opener and now face Texas High Thursday at Lobo Stadium in Longview. (Lang White | Correspondent, File)

LONGVIEW — The John Tyler boys soccer team returns to Longview for the second time this week to play Texas High in the Class 4A area playoffs 7 p.m. today at Lobo Stadium.

The Lions (21-2-3) will be looking to advance to the third round of the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

John Tyler reached the second round via a 2-1 win over Henderson at Pirate Stadium on Monday. Second half goals from Aron Alonso and Aurelio Godina helped the Lions earn a third come-from-behind victory in four games.

John Tyler struggled at times to finish chances against Henderson, taking 16 shots but putting just six on target. The Lions will be aided in that department with the return of leading scorer Luis Duran will return from a one-game suspension.

The Lions will also be boosted by the play of Rafael Ibarra, who stepped up from junior varsity and gave JT strong minutes on the left wing on Monday.

"I thought he did a real good job stepping in like that to the varsity game," JT coach Howard Story said.

Defender Antonio Betancourt could also return from a concussion, though Story said he's unlikely to hurry anyone back from a head injury.

The winner of today's match will take on either Pine Tree or Mount Pleasant, who face off Friday at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

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