Scott Hargrove, a 14-year-old Valhalla High School freshman, scored a pair of second-half goals Friday night to lift the Norsemen to their first-ever San Diego Section 3-A boys' soccer title, 3-2, over top-seeded Bonita Vista at San Diego High School.
Hargrove's goals were only his eighth and ninth of the season.
"I don't think you'll ever see a better performance by a freshman under these circumstances," said Valhalla Coach George Logan, who won his first section title after coaching runner-up Valhalla teams in 1982 and '83. "Most freshmen aren't physically capable of performing well on this level. But he's got the speed and desire, and he proved it tonight."
Hargrove's first goal was a result of pure hustle. With Valhalla leading, 1-0, early in the second half, he sped down the left side hoping for the ball to come his way. Sure enough, when Norsemen center Sean Salinas was stripped of the ball, it rolled to the open Hargrove. He sent a low shot into the far corner of the goal to put Valhalla up, 2-0.
Bonita Vista scored 10 minutes later on a goal by Kip Shipley before Hargrove struck again. His second goal was a result of pure brilliance. He collected a loose ball 45 yards away from the Bonita Vista goal and slipped around two defenders. From the right side this time, he again sent his low shot to the far post to put the Norsemen ahead, 3-1.
"When I first came out for the team, I wasn't sure if I was good enough to make it," Hargrove said. "But I just tried super hard and things worked out for me. I was lucky enough to score two goals tonight, but this was a team effort."
Valhalla (19-3-1) finished second behind Grossmont High in the Grossmont League before beginning its run to the section title. The Norsemen defeated Mount Carmel and Hilltop (both by 1-0 scores) before upending the Metro-Mesa League champion Barons (17-3-3).
Bonita Vista, to its credit, played a strong second half, twice rallying from two-goal deficits to pull within one. Shipley scored his second goal with just under five minutes, remaining, however, and the Barons didn't have time to get the equalizer.