Hornets top Warriors in Metro tournament

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Chelsea High School boys’ soccer team defeated Thompson 4-1 in the Birmingham Metro tournament March 28.

The game started with both teams trying to establish possession and create an organized attack. Both teams were able to get in toward the goal, but their best early chances came from corner kicks, as both teams saw narrowly missed opportunities to take an early lead.

About 15 minutes in, Chelsea found a great chance as midfileder Taylor Martindale got the ball to the right baseline and crossed it into dangerous space in front of the goal. A Thompson defender was there to clear the ball, but unfortunately for him, his clearance went into the body of on-coming Chelsea attacker Eric King, and the deflected ball went into the oppsite side netting. Chelsea celebrated the 1-0 lead.

Thompson took only a minute to respond. Chelsea’s defense had a clearance that came to the feet of Thompson midfielder David Buckelew, who quickly sent a ball into Chelsea’s box for team mate Jacob Marasckin who crossed it back into the onrunning Buckelew, who stuck a sharp header past Chelsea keeper Josh Carpenter. The momentum turned in Thompson’s favor for the rest of the half as midfielder Jacob Ramsay and his Warrior team mates created chance after chance, only for Chelsea keeper Josh Carpenter to deny them another goal. The score remained level through halftime.

The second half saw Chelsea turn the momentum back in its favor as the Hornets came out with much more intensity. Several minutes in, Chelsea was awarded a free kick from near midfield and keeper Josh Carpenter came out to take it. Carpenter dropped a long beautiful kick into the box and it was only partially cleared by the Thompson defense, so Martindale ran it down, turned, and drove the ball past the arms of outstretched Thompson keeper Sam Posey. Chelsea led 2-1.

The Hornets didn’t let up there. With about 20 minutes left, King gathered the ball on the left sideline and dribbled it into the middle of the field, avoiding heavy pressure from Thompson, where he played a through ball to Martindale, who stuck a sharp finish into the net for a 3-1 Chelsea lead.

A few minutes later, Chelsea had enough for one more goal. A partial clearance by the Thompson back line sent the ball to Chelsea defender Hayden Taylor who crossed it to King at the top of the box. King was able to avoid a Thompson challenge, find space, and knock in another goal giving Chelsea the 4-1 lead which held for the final whistle.

“It was a tale of two halves,” said Chelsea coach Lee Miller. “Thompson out worked us in the first half, and we were lucky to be level at halftime. But we played tough, physical soccer in the second half, and our kids saw the results. Thompson is an excellent team and a great rival, so this win is a great win for us. I hope we can build on it.”