The Harbinger Online

Featured Athlete: Tommy Nelson

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A defender, a sophomore and two header goals. East soccer fans have witnessed these three things in the past two weeks thanks to sophomore Tommy Nelson. Even though he’s a new member to the boys’ varsity soccer team, he’s been able to score two headers in the past two games.

Nelson surprised fans and his fellow teammates with a header into the back of the net in last night’s game on Wed. September 9. Teammate senior Jacob Riley was taking a corner kick and Nelson moved up to help pressure the box. Riley kicked the ball towards the goal, and Park Hill South’s goalie leaped up to stop the ball. As a defender, corner kicks are some of Nelson’s few chances to make it into the box, but he’s been able capitalize on those chances.

As it brushed over his hands towards the back of the box, Nelson saw his chance.

“I was pretty excited after I saw it go over the keeper’s hands because I knew I had an open goal,” Nelson said.

The goal tied up the game, and after each team scored once more the game finished at 2-2. After penalty kicks the East team took the win 5-4.

But Nelson is no stranger to the feeling of knocking a ball in the back of the net.

In only two games, Nelson has managed to score two header goals – an impressive feat for a new defender who gets few opportunities to shoot the ball. Instead of blocking goals, Nelson finds himself scoring them. In the first game of the season, he pulled off what he calls the “face header”.

“In last week’s game the ball came into the box as a corner kick too, but it bounced out towards me. “Nelson said. “I just kinda hit it with my face back into the goal.”

His ability to score as a defender has continued to impress his teammates and fans. They describe Nelson as a passionate player who is eager to score.

“He’s very aggressive with his head.” Junior Libby LeGard said. “You can tell he has a lot of desire to score and help out his team when they need him.”

Nelson feels that after this goal, he’s determined to keep up his good reputation. He doesn’t expect to score every game, but he wants to use his experiences as motivation to play well throughout the season.

Lancer soccer fans will be able to watch Nelson and the rest of the team in their next game on Sat. September 12. The full schedule can be found on smeharbinger.net. 

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