EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – If it feels like deja vu for the Bel Air and San Elizario high school soccer teams, they’ll have to be forgiven.
The Highlanders and Eagles were both victorious in the Regional Semifinals on Friday, each punching their tickets to the Regional Finals for the first time since 2019.
In the Class 5A Sweet 16, undefeated and top-ranked Bel Air cruised past Burleson Centennial 4-0 to advance to the Elite Eight.
Meanwhile in Class 4A, San Elizario put together a strong 2-0 victory over Western Hills in the Regional Semifinals, cementing their place in the Elite Eight as well.
And that’s where the deja vu might kick in.
In 2019, the Bel Air and San Elizario boys soccer teams both won state championships after fantastic seasons. Four years later, the Highlanders and Eagles are back in the Elite Eight for the first time since they both won it all during those magical seasons.
For Bel Air, the Highlanders scored early and often in a win over Centennial in Wichita Falls. Senior striker Rodolfo Gonzalez netted a pair of early goals; Brandon Carrillo put Bel Air up 3-0 at halftime with one of the best goals of the entire playoffs.
In the second half, Paul Oros put the game away with Bel Air’s fourth goal. Awaiting the undefeated Highlanders (26-0-1) in the Class 5A Regional Finals will be Midlothian (23-2-2) on Saturday at 9 a.m. MT. in Wichita Falls. The winner will advance to the Final Four in Georgetown.
As for San Elizario, the Eagles scored the go-ahead goal in the first minute of the match, as Alan Jurado smashed home the opener. San Eli led 1-0 at halftime, before getting a second goal midway through the second half to provide some breathing room.
Next up for the Eagles (23-2-1) will be Diamond Hill-Jarvis (28-1-1) in the Class 4A Regional Finals with a spot in the Final Four up for grabs. The match will get underway at 11:30 a.m. MT in Justin, Texas, just outside of Fort Worth.
There were four other El Paso-area teams in action in the Sweet 16 of the soccer playoffs around the state of Texas on Friday. Unfortunately, those four squads lost and saw their seasons come to an end.
Lake Highlands def. Eastlake boys, 3-1 (Falcons eliminated from playoffs)
Wichita Falls Rider def. Andress girls, 6-0 (Eagles eliminated from playoffs)
Diamond Hill-Jarvis def. Irvin boys, 2-0 (Rockets eliminated from playoffs)
Stephenville def. San Elizario girls, 4-1 (Eagles eliminated from playoffs)