Liz Porto looking to build memories at King's College

Liz Porto signs to play soccer at King's College (PA). Joining the SCC All-Division midfielder are dad Ron, mom Kathleen, brother Jack and sisters Susie and Mary.

Liz Porto signs to play soccer at King’s College (PA). Joining the SCC All-Division midfielder are dad Ron, mom Kathleen, brother Jack and sisters Susie and Mary.

Shelton High Athletics / Contributed photo

Liz Porto leaves Shelton High as a two-sport standout.

The soccer whiz and track competitor also left advice for future Gaels.

“I would tell everyone entering high school to experience as many things as possible,” she said. “By doing that you will make memories. Join a sports team, a club, go to events. You won’t regret it if you involve yourself.”

Porto’s next rack of memories will be mined at King’s College (PA), where she will play soccer and double up with the Division III Monarch’s track teams.

“I chose King’s because it perfectly combined my passion for studies (physician assistant program) and my love for soccer. I’m looking forward to experiencing a college career. I want to help people. With their accelerated five-year program, it is a perfect fit,” Porto said, who was an All-SCC Division 3 selection in soccer.

“I play left mid. My King’s coach (Frank Carrozza) was talking about me playing forward. I’m open to play anywhere. I committed Oct. 16. COVID impacted it a little bit because it was difficult to go on tours and visit colleges.”

With a grade point average of 4.40, Porto ranked 5th in a class of 321. She has earned spots on the All-SCC indoor and outdoor track teams.

Porto and fellow captains Sarah Panek and Devon Wildman wanted to overcome the lost soccer season.

She said: “I think for my co-captains and I that the pandemic helped us become leaders. We had to get the team through such a difficult situation that no one had experienced before. We finished our last season in the most rewarding way. We were SCC (Division A) champions. I was so lucky to have such a supportive group of best friends to step on the field with every game.”

Porto had three assists in 5-0 final divisional win against Foran.

Shelton soccer coach Marvin Miller never doubted Porto’s resolve.

“I never doubted she'd reach the next level. Liz set a plan for it long ago and it was great to see her work that plan and grow as a person into the great leader she has become,” he said. “We saw that last year as she and her fellow captains led us very successfully through a tough season of cohorts, masks, and other pandemic fallout. She was a key part in our last four division titles and a couple of SCC finals. She's just a great young woman in all respects and she made me laugh a lot.”

Porto was effusive in her praise of the Shelton program.

“Coach Miller is very supportive. He only wants the best for his players. I’m going to miss playing for him,” she said. “I’ve been playing soccer since I was in second grade. The entire time I’ve been with the same eight girls. We are a family. I’m going to miss each of them so much.”

Porto will take on the pole vault and the 800-meter run for King’s College coach Mike Kolinovsky.

“The pole vault is such a different event,” Porto said. “Track is a good balance between team sport and individual. Having the teammates that I’ve had has been an outlet for any pressure. I know they have my back and that I can go to them for help.”

She added: “My mom Kathleen and dad Ron are my biggest supporters. I wouldn’t be anywhere without them. My dad played baseball at Stratford High and Sacred Heart University. My mom played varsity softball and volleyball at Stratford. My mom (like Liz) was a CIAC Scholar Athlete.

“My brother Jack is nine and is always giving me advice. My sister Susie (rising junior at Shelton) plays soccer and runs indoor and outdoor track. My sister Mary is going to be a freshman. She plays soccer and basketball. Our parents have been our chauffeurs. We love them.”

Porto is a member of the National Honor Society, the Italian National Honor Society and the World Language Italian Honor Society. She was on the SHS Class Act Sportsmanship Committee and the Earth Club. A Book and Achievement Award winner, Porto was a volunteer coach with SYSO soccer and the Lower Naugatuck Valley Boy’s and Girls’ Club.

Miller said: “Liz is about the best example we have recently had of a player who had a vision, set the milestones and worked to make that vision become her reality. I watched her develop the composure and confidence as she worked diligently to be a player of significance in our program. She has always been a great role model for commitment and character. She is a very motivated individual, always seeking the best she can be at whatever she tries.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354