Portzline sets boys’ county record
McALISTERVILLE — The stage was set perfectly for Anson Portzline to make history. The Juniata Christian School Lions soccer team was playing at home against Columbia County Christian. It was senior night and following the game, the school was set to host a bonfire, celebrating the senior class.
All Portzline had to do was score six goals and the Juniata County boys’ scoring record would be his. So naturally, Portzline went to work.
With less than five minutes to play in the game, the Lions were leading 6-1 and Portzline was sitting on five goals for the game and a share of the record. He was clearly running on fumes and had his last few shots attempts saved by Defenders’ goalie, Andre Araniva.
As they did all game, the Lions’ offense kept feeding Portzline the ball near the goal. The Lions’ senior got a pass, made a move on a Defender, and found himself wide open in front of the net. Portzline mustered enough strength to fire a shot that sailed past Araniva and found the back of the net.
Portzline screamed in triumph and the Lions’ fan base and team went wild in celebration, knowing very well what they had just witnessed. The goal made the score 7-1, which is how the contest ended. Portzline’s sixth goal of the evening gave him his 107th goal of his varsity career. He passed East Juniata’s Dan Wagner who had the previous record of 106.
“I’m speechless,” Portzline said. “I didn’t even know what to say, especially when I scored. All I could do was just scream. It’s definitely an achievement. I’m proud to be here.”
On the sidelines watching history unfold was Anson’s father and coach of the Lions, Dave Portzline. Much like his son, the moment was too big for words and Portzline beamed with pride while reflecting what his son accomplished.
“I’m kind of speechless too. It’s all through hard work and that’s what he did he–practicing offseason constantly. I’ve always told him: ‘If you want to be a good player, you have to work, and work hard.’ This is an achievement from hard work.”
Portzline praised and thanked his team for the sacrifice they made to their own games to help Anson achieve the record. For the past few contests, any time a Lion got the ball, they looked for Anson and tried to get it to him in a great position to score.
“It just shows you how unselfish our team is, that they want Anson to try to get that county record,” Portzline said. “They were trying to get the ball to him when he needed it and that shows that these guys love him and want him to succeed. That’s true love and a team that does that is what we have right here.”
Anson was candid about chasing he record but admitted that he wasn’t aware of how close he was until a few games into the season. Once he knew that it was a realistic goal, he and the rest of the Lions went to work, trying to chase down Dan Wagner of East Juniata’s record.
“I want to thank everyone that made it possible to get here,” Portzline said. “To be honest, I didn’t really know about this county record until maybe two or three games in. I saw that it was attainable and that was my goal, just to smash that record and I’m getting there.”
While Portzline sits atop the Juniata County boys’ scoring record, he is within reaching distance of the overall record, held by East Juniata’s Kierstyn Fogle, at 136. After securing the boys’ record, Portzline is turning his attention to tracking down Fogle’s mark.
“Well, I think that’s the next one I’ll definitely try to tackle,” Portzline said with a smile.
Portzline will look to inch closer to Fogle’s record on Monday as the Lions return to action, hosting Fannett-Metal.
Juniata Christian 7, Columbia County Christian 1
JCS–Anson Portzline 6. JCS–Brent Graybill. CCCS–Jason Manges.
Shots: JCS 26-6. Corners: JCS 5-0. Saves: CCCS-13 (Andre Araniva), JCS-4 (Micah Dressler).