HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Harlingen boys soccer team is back in the regional quarterfinals for the first time since 2000.

The school is known for its strong football program. The boys soccer team hopes its playoff run can change the mindset of outsiders when they think of Harlingen High School.

“Kind of tired for people only thinking of Harlingen as a football school,” said second-year Harlingen boys soccer coach Joey Johnson. “We have a lot of talent here. Takes time and right person in the right spot.”

The Cardinals reached the playoffs for the first time since 2018.

Their return to the postseason began with a convincing 5-1 against Economedes.

Harlingen then rallied to beat Del Rio, 3-2, in the area round.

“This team has potential to make it to more games,” said Harlingen junior goalie Juan Zapata. “That’s what got us this far, teamwork.”

Junior defender/midfielder Jerry Martinez says a focus on working as a group has led to their success.

“Last year more individuals,” Martinez said. “This year more focused on being together. Better for us. I think just more of a family this year.”

The Cardinals will face a District 32-6A foe, Rivera, in the regional quarterfinals.

The matchup will take place on Friday night at Bobby Morrow Stadium in Brownsville. Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m.