Trophy Club Nelson goalkeeper Chase Therrien found himself in a familiar spot Friday: a penalty kick at Memorial Stadium.
And just as he had done eight days earlier against Wichita Falls, Therrien answered the challenge, stopping Amarillo star Alex Cervantes and rallying the Bobcats to a 4-1 Class 4A regional semifinals victory.
Cervantes had already tied the game at 1-1, but Therrien’s save sparked Nelson to another goal before halftime.
“I was thinking clear in my head,” Therrien said. “I saw how he was going to run up and run straight, and you’re not going to come across my body and go to far post.”
Nelson (25-1-2) meets El Paso Andress (19-8) in the 4A Region I final at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Bobcats survived an action-packed first half with a 2-1 lead, making goals by Mason Shank and Brett Powell stand up against intense Amarillo pressure.
“They transition well, they move the ball, and they create a lot of space inside the corners of the box,” Nelson coach Howard Putter said. “This is a good team that plays well on the field.”
The Bobcats broke the ice in the seventh minute as a through ball from Tanner Burns was turned into a goal by Shank.
Amarillo (23-4-1) found the equalizer on a brilliant finish by Cervantes.
But Nelson took the lead for good on a long ball played in by Hunter McGuire and finished by Powell in the 30th minute.
The Bobcats made it 3-1 midway through the second half on a 25-yard blast from Noah Russo. Moments later, McGuire made it 4-1 on a free kick.