Chelsea wins first section soccer title following win over Sylacauga

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Chelsea High School boys’ soccer team won its first Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A, Section 3 championship in school history April 21 following a 3-1 win over Sylacauga.

Chelsea finished section play with a perfect 8-0 record.

Chelsea came out strong, nearly scoring in the opening minute as Travis Mitchell got free for a moment in the Sylacauga box, but the defense closed quickly and blocked his shot.

Chelsea’s efforts finally paid off about 25 minutes in as Dakota Dresbach fed a through ball to Mitchell, who chipped the ball over the Aggie keeper to give Chelsea a 1-0 lead. The score remained the same through halftime.

Midway through the second half, Chelsea extended its lead when Dresbach hit a cross to Jeff Dunkerley, who chest trapped the ball on the left side of the box and struck a left-footer inside the near post to give Chelsea a 2-0 lead.

Moments later Austin Rikard dashed up the left sideline with the ball and dumped a pass back to the top of the box, where Dresbach gathered it and hit a sharp left-footed strike into the bottom right netting to push the Hornets lead to 3-0.

With about six minutes left in the game, Chelsea was called for a hand ball in the box and Sylacauga knocked in the penalty kick to cut the deficit to 3-1.

“I’m so proud of my team,” Chelsea coach Lee Miller said after the game. “They have worked extremely hard to get to this level of play. They’ve really started to trust one another, and they’ve learned to be good team mates. It’s been a long process, but they’ve put in the work, and it’s fun to see them get the reward. I’m proud, but we know there’s still work left to do this season.”