Spain Park defeats Chelsea in soccer match

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Spain Park High School boys’ soccer team battled Chelsea in a match March 1 that saw two teams missing several key starters to injury.

The Jaguars defeated the Hornets 3-1 in the match.

Despite the number of injuries, the level of play didn’t suffer. Early on Chelsea (2-4-1) had several key opportunities as the Hornets controlled possession only to send shots high and wide.

Later in the half, Spain Park (7-1-1) settled in and used its speed to create chances. However, Chelsea’s back line and goalkeeper Josh Carpenter were able to deny the Jaguars.

Finally, a hand ball in the box gave Spain Park a golden opportunity with a penalty kick, but Carpenter made a great read and a diving save to keep the score tied at 0-0.

Several minutes later, Spain Park had a shot deflected by Chelsea’s Cody Hood, only to see the ball end up near the back post where Spain Park midfielder Dylan Williams anticipated the ball and punched in the opening goal of the game.

Spain Park led 1-0 at the half.

In the second half, Spain Park took control and Williams found himself open in the box with a through ball at his feet. Carpenter charged out, but Williams wisely lofted a shot over the Chelsea keeper to notch his second goal of the game, which gave the Jaguars a 2-0 lead.

After a series of exchanges with both sides missing great chances, Spain Park pulled off another goal on a breakaway by Chris Wright to push the Jaguars’ lead to 3-0.

Chelsea wouldn’t quit. With 10 minutes left, Travis Mitchell crossed a ball from the right corner and Jeff Dunkerley volleyed a bouncer that sneaked over the Spain Park goalkeeper’s finger tips to cut the Jaguars’ lead to 3-1.

A couple of minutes later Ashley Page, Chelsea’s leading scorer, got free on a through ball in the box and shot to the back post. However, Spain Park goalkeeper Brandon Mullis saved the shot and knocked the ball back toward Page, who gathered it and shot again as defenders closed in only to see Mullis save the second shot as well.

Mullis and Carpenter finished with four saves each in the contest.