Chelsea tops Albertville in soccer match

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The fifth-ranked Chelsea High School  boys’ soccer team edged Albertville  1-0 in a showdown of traditionally powerful Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A programs March 9.

The teams opened the game with a quick flurry of passes through the midfield as each team tested the opposing defenses looking for opportunities. About 15 minutes in, Chelsea’s offense began to show signs that it would break through as outside midfielder Taylor Martindale made several runs down the right flank and played some dangerous crosses into the box. Ultimately, Martindale’s efforts paid off, as he finally found team mate Shelton Smith on a cross and Smith punched in a one-timer that gave Chelsea a 1-0 lead with about 18 minutes left in the half.

Chelsea slowed the pace for the rest of the half to preserve the halftime lead.

The second half saw Chelsea keep up the pressure as Martindale found a couple of dangerous looks with forward Will Bevill, but Bevill  was unable to cash in on the chances.

On the other end, Chelsea defenders Jacob Brooks, Robby Haskins, Andrew Heinfeld, and Noah Weaver were nearly unpenetrable as they only allowed 3 shots for the entire game, and only one of those was on goal, but keeper Josh Carpenter made the routine save. Despite, the late desperate flurry by Albertville, Chelsea held strong for the 1-0 shutout victory.

“I was very proud of our defensive back line tonight,” said Chelsea coach Lee Miller. “We weren’t able to cash in on some great offensive chances, but our defense made the one goal enough to get the win. We know we have a great goalkeeper, but our back line defenders have shown that they can be tough and consistent. This win was a good one.”