Hoffman lifts Eagles to Metro title

Published 12:38 am Saturday, April 18, 2009

Oak Mountain soccer star Chandler Hoffman has had a season of knocking down goals one at a time.

First it was a Lakeshore Shootout championship in February, then came career goal No. 100 in the Metro semifinal, followed three weeks later by setting a new career goals scored record at 40 on Thursday. Hoffman notched another goal Friday, scoring the game-winner against John Carroll with 15:34 left to play to win the Metro Soccer A Division Championship.

The win was Hoffman’s first Metro title win after the Eagles shared the title with Spain Park last season due to weather delays.

John Carroll, ranked No. 50 in the nation by ESPN, battled the No. 16 Eagles from start to finish, something Oak Mountain was not used to.

“That was the first time we’d played a team that tried to come at us from the start. They came out in full force right from the beginning,” Hoffman said. “They were pretty solid defensively.”

Oak Mountain’s first clear shot at the net did not come until the second half. In the 49th minute, Donnie Maciel pushed the ball across to Hoffman, who drew the keeper out from the goal while scoring with a left-footed shot to the near post for the win. The goal puts Hoffman nine goals away from his hopes of 50 goals in a season. The dream may be reachable if the Eagles return to the state championship game, considering Hoffman has scored 14 times in the last five games.

Eagles goalkeeper Trey Anderson collected four saves and his ninth shutout of the season.

Oak Mountain (23-1-1) will host No. 49 Hoover for the Class 6A, Section 5 championship Tuesday at 7 p.m. A win would not only guarantee the section title, but possible home field advantage early in the playoffs.