Trophy Club Nelson nets two off free kicks to down Mansfield Summit

Posted Wednesday, Apr. 09, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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The Trophy Club Nelson and Mansfield Summit boys soccer teams dug their heels in on defense in the Class 4A Region I quarterfinal Tuesday at Birdville ISD FA/AC.

Nelson saw two glimmers of opportunity and capitalized on both, ending Summit’s season 2-0.

Most of the game was played at midfield as both teams’ back lines stood tall against oncoming runs.

With 23 seconds left in the first half, Nelson mounted a run that reached the end line that ended in a foul.

Off the restart, Nelson sophomore Mason Shank needled a cross through the goal mouth and onto the foot of senior Christian Pratt, the last attacker manning the far post who sent a shot into the back of the net.

Nelson (24-1-2) controlled the ball most of the first half, but Summit’s defense frustrated Nelson’s forwards.

“We had a little more control than them in the first half,” coach Howard Putter said. “We were a little disappointed we were only one up.”

The second half played out exactly the same, with both teams seeing few quality scoring chances.

After a breakaway pull-down by Summit (12-6-6) resulted in a red card, Shank bent a shot just inside the left post and into the net on the ensuing free kick.

“Restarts are good for us,” Putter said. “ ... The kids create a lot of opportunities where other teams know we are about to score and they give us those restarts close.”

Nelson’s back line stood like a stone wall to Summit’s charges, allowing one scoring opportunity on a breakaway shot that hit the post.

Nelson, which has recorded a school-record 18 shutouts while allowing nine goals in 27 games, advances to the Region I tournament beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls.

“They’ve been money,” Putter said. They’ve just kept us in games. They’ve really been playing hard.”

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