Written by SportsDayDFW.com
After 29 years, coach gets achieves the 'unbelievable' with Byron Nelson's first soccer state title
GEORGETOWN — Winning its first UIL boys soccer state championship is memorable enough. But Trophy Club Byron Nelson did it in memorable style.
Byron Nelson senior Devin Porter pushed in a goal at 69:32 in a 2-1 victory over Pharr Valley View in the Class 4A title game. Nelson had defeated Frisco Wakeland in penalty kicks to advance from the semifinals. In its fourth varsity season, Nelson (28-1-2) was making its first state tournament appearance.
“After 29 years of this, it feels great,” Byron Nelson coach Howard Putter said. “It’s unbelievable.”
Putter, who started the Keller Fossil Ridge boys program in 1995 before arriving at Byron Nelson, is a longtime soccer coach with stops at Keller and El Paso. Byron Nelson, just northwest of Fort Worth, is considered a soccer hotbed with its girls program also reaching the state tournament.
Porter put in his goal to break a 1-1 tie with high-scoring Valley View. Byron Nelson junior goalie Chase Therrien was named the final MVP. Therrien had six saves and didn’t give up a goal to Valley View senior Jose Soto, who had a state record 78 goals this season and 208 for his career.
In the semifinals, Therrien provided the difference in the eighth round of penalty kicks by making a stop for a 7-6 margin in the shootout.
Valley View (26-3) had tied the score as senior Erik Martinez put in a 28-yard shot in the 54th minute.
Byron Nelson matched Valley View with a different and more deliberate offensive style. Junior Hunter McGuire’s long free kicks in front of the goal helped set up shots. McGuire even had a 50-yard free kick that slipped just above the crossbar. Porter just missed on header over the bar off a corner kick in the 14th minute.
Byron Nelson took a 1-0 lead early in the second half as Ryan Dandan scored in the 46th minute.