BOYS SOCCER: Boerne defeats Celina 2-1, claims second straight UIL Class 4A State title

Jess Gonzales scores game-winning PK, Goalkeeper Noah LeMaster named MVP

The Boerne boys soccer team celebrates their second straight UIL Class 4A State title at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown on Friday, April 15, 2022. (Andrew Cely, KSAT)

GEORGETOWN – For the second straight season, the Boerne boys soccer team has made history.

Junior Jess Gonzales scored the game-winning goal midway through the first overtime period, as the Greyhounds defeated Celina in the UIL Class 4A State championship game 2-1 to claim their second consecutive state title at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown on Friday afternoon. Boerne defeated Diamond Hill-Jarvis 3-1 in the 2021 title game nearly one full year ago.

“I just can’t wrap my head around it,” senior Sam Theiss explained. “We’ve just won twice here in my last two years of high school. I got knocked out in the second round of the playoffs my freshman year. I never expected this at all. It’s just surreal. I’m closer with these guys more than ever. I don’t think I’ll ever find a better group of guys.”

“It’s something we’ve been talking about since the beginning of district play,” fellow senior Landon Murphy explained. “It’s what every senior soccer player asks for. To go out and play to the last day possible and to win on the last day is absolutely huge.”

After Celina pulled ahead 1-0 early in the first half on a controversial penalty kick, Murphy was credited with the equalizer in the 26th minute of play on a corner kick that may have grazed the head of junior Joe Ballenger on its way towards the net. Despite the Greyhounds dominating the majority of play throughout the second half, neither team found the back of the net for the remainder of regulation thanks to some stellar saves from both goalkeepers. Junior Noah LeMaster notched five saves, including some remarkable diving stops, to help force overtime. He was named the tournament’s MVP.

“The past three games, we’ve fallen behind early because of our mistakes, so I really wasn’t worried at all,” LeMaster said. “We were able to play more relaxed because we had already done it before.”

“They don’t lose their cool, and they don’t lose their minds like me on the sideline,” head coach Michael Strong said. “They’re so calm, collected and composed, and they trust in each other. They know that no matter what happens, they’re going to be in the game. Just trust the process, trust in each other, and it showed through again. They gave up an early goal, and we were able to come back from it.”

Boerne becomes the first program from the greater San Antonio area to win back-to-back state soccer championships. The Greyhounds finished the season with a 27-2-1 overall record.

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Andrew has covered athletics of all levels for more than five years and is dedicated to shining a spotlight on local San Antonio athletes and their stories.