Kicking it in college

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Allison Porter signs her National Letter of Intent to play college soccer at University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Texas on Wednesday morning at Montezuma-Cortez High School. Sitting with Allison are her parents Schelli and Mike Porter. M-CHS Athletic Director Jimmie Lankford (left) and Lady Panthers soccer coach Nate Ross stand.

By Bobby Abplanalp Journal staff writer

Another Montezuma-Cortez High School girls soccer player is moving onto the next level.

Allison Porter signed a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday morning to play soccer at University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas.

The M-CHS senior captain is the third Lady Panther in two years to commit to play college ball under coach Nate Ross.

"It's exciting for Allison to go to that next level. I'm very happy for her," Ross said. "Allison has been one of those girls where soccer has been her sport. Ever since she was a freshman, she was focused. She knew what she wanted."

Porter, 17, actually began playing soccer when she was 4 and set a goal then to play in college.

"That was my big deal. That's what I've always wanted to do. I never wanted to quit," Porter said. "I want to say, 'Thank you' to all my of coaches that I've had, and teammates and family and friends that have supported me."

Porter is a four-year varsity starter, a three-year captain and a second team 2012 All-Southwestern League selection after leading M-CHS in goals last season. The midfielder was also a Colorado High School Activities Association Academic All-State first team selection last year.

Porter was able to showcase her talent at summer camps in Texas last summer and caught the attention of UMHB coach Barry Elkins. He liked what he saw.

"I went and visited the school, and checked it out, talked to the coach," said Porter, who also led the Lady Panthers with 10 goals as a sophomore. "I really like the location. It's kind of a rural area. It's not too big and not too small. After I went to the school, I just felt like it was my place."

The offensive star has three goals for M-CHS so far this season. Porter will play defensive midfielder for the NCAA D-III Crusaders, who are a member of the American Southwest Conference. D-III student athletes don't receive athletic scholarships. Porter was awarded Honors and Leadership academic scholarships that will cover a good portion of her tuition. Allison, who is the daughter of Mike and Schelli Porter, will major in nursing at the four-year private Christian school.

Coach Ross definitely feels Porter has set the bar high for his underclassmen, in terms of succeeding on the soccer field and in the classroom.

"The younger players see that (with Porter) and it drives them to want to play at that next level," Ross said. "We have a lot of young girls that are really excited about the sport and what it can offer at the next level."

Allison Porter is a prime example of achieving goals through hard work and dedication. She'll take the field for the Crusaders in the fall.

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