Hornets returning to soccer playoffs following win

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Chelsea High School boys’ soccer team has locked up its sixth consecutive Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A playoff appearance by knocking off Talladega 2-0 on April 12.

The Hornets jumped out to an early lead about 10 minutes into the game when goalkeeper Josh Carpenter served a long free kick from near midfield into the Talladega box where Taylor Martindale was able to get a shot that was knocked back by the Talladega keeper but ultimately punched back into the goal by Martindale. Chelsea led 1-0.

Later in the half, Chelsea forward Eric King gathered the ball near the left side of the Talladega box and he dropped the ball off to midfielder Will Bevill who took a touch to his right and ripped a dart of a shot that beat the keeper and crashed into the bottom of the goal’s crossbar and bounced off the ground and into the upper netting of the goal. Chelsea carried the 2-0 lead into halftime.

In the second half, Chelsea had more opportunities with Martindale, Bevill, King, and Shelton Smith all getting great looks at goal, but Talladega’s back line and keeper kept the Hornets out.

Talladega’s best chance came midway through the half when Jack Bailey got free at the top on Chelsea’s box and, under pressure, delivered a dangerously placed shot just out of reach of Carpenter that hit the crossbar and kicked out to a Chelsea defender who cleared the ball to safety.

“Right now, we’re doing just enough on offense to get the victories. Our defense has been solid all year, and we’ll need them to keep being solid for us to reach our goals,” said Chelsea coach Lee Miller after the win.

Chelsea will face Sylacauga next week with a chance to capture its second straight section championship.