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Coach hopes young Pirates benefit from tourney action

By Hayden Henry
Jan. 23, 2013 at 10 p.m.


When Pine Tree head soccer coach Andre' Lo set the pool for the annual Pine Tree Invitational, he had the youth on his team in mind.

Pine Tree, which opens the tournament at 6 p.m. today against Atlanta, will send four freshman onto the field.

"We have some good teams heading in that will be a good test for our young team," Lo said. "This will give them a good challenge."

With only a handful of returners from last season on this year's squad, the Pirates look to build on a 4-2-1 start to the season.

"So far, so good," Lo said referring to his team's start. "We need to continue to improve and this weekend gives us an opportunity to do that."

Pine Tree junior Juan Paz recorded an unassisted hat trick to lead the Pirates to a 4-0 shutout win over Whitehouse on Tuesday.

Along with Atlanta, the Pine Tree Invitational will include Jacksonville, Spring Hill, Palestine, Pittsburg, Pearland and Pleasant Grove.

The lineup features some well-known teams, like 5A Pearland, who have made postseason appearances the last five years, as well as some new ones like Spring Hill, which is beginning its first year in UIL action.

Spring Hill will kick off the tournament at noon today against Jacksonville. Palestine and Pittsburg will square off at 2 p.m., followed by Pearland and Pleasant Grove at 4.

Bracket play will resume at 9 a.m. Friday and conclude with the final match at 4:30 p.m. Saturday play will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude with the championship game at 4:30 p.m.

Pine Tree will resume non-district play Tuesday at Tyler Lee and will host Palestine on Feb. 1 before kicking off district play on Feb. 5 against Marshall.

"This tournament gives us a good chance to see all the areas of the field and what changes we need to make moving forward in the season," Lo said.

(Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: @hayden_h)

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