Trophy Club Nelson forward Devin Porter said he didn’t take much time to think about his shot on goal with 10 minutes left in Saturday’s Class 4A state championship game. But the result of that shot might be on Porter’s mind for a while.
Porter scored in the 70th minute to push Nelson past Pharr Valley View 2-1 at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown. The win was Nelson’s first state title for a boys team. The girls golf team won state last year. The school opened in 2009.
Porter, who nearly scored twice on headers in the first half, beat a Valley View defender and goalkeeper Evan Alonzo to the ball for a 22-yard strike. Alonzo and his teammate were converging on Porter, who fired away just in time.
“I saw the keeper coming, and I knew if I hit [the ball], it would go in, and if he hit me, I’d go down,” Porter said. “So I chose the first option.”
The MVP of the game, though, was Nelson (28-1-2) goalkeeper Chase Therrien, who allowed a goal in the 54th minute, but kept record-breaking scorer Jose Soto out of the net.
Soto entered Saturday with a state-record 78 goals on the season and 208 goals in his career.
“My coach told me [Soto] was a good player, and that he would shoot from everywhere,” Therrien said, adding that Nelson’s defenders worked to contain Soto’s ability to shoot. “Once he got a shot off, I just imagined it as a regular game, a regular shot.”
Soto had three shots on goal, in addition to four free kicks. One of those free kicks in the first half nearly went in from about 20 yards out, but Therrien was able to stop it.
“For my books, that was the save of my year,” Therrien said.
After entering halftime scoreless, Ryan Dandan put Nelson ahead 1-0 with a goal in the 46th minute. Hunter McGuire floated a free kick over the outstretched arms of Alonzo, and Dandan was there to punch the ball into an empty net.
Erik Martinez had the lone goal for Valley View (26-3).