Hornets top Moody in playoff opener


The Chelsea High School boys’ soccer team advanced to the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A quarterfinals for the second year in a row following a 9-3 victory over Moody in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs on May 1.

Chelsea wasted no time notching a goal in the game as Taylor Martindale crossed a ball on the ground through the Moody box and Eric King re-directed it into the left side of the Moody goal.

About eight minutes later, Martindale struck again, this time as the goal scorer, as he got onto the end of a through ball from Cody Hood on the right wing, and Martindale stuck the ball past the Moody keeper inside the far post.

Chelsea’ 2-0 lead wouldn’t last long, however. A few moments later, Moody’s star midfielder, Brian Meadows raced down the left wing with the ball, cut back to put the ball on his right foot, and delivered a cross toward the back post and Romiro Mancilla got just enough of a touch to roll it into the Chelsea goal.

The Hornets responded quickly, though, as one minute later, Martindale crossed another ball to King who took a touch and punched a shot into the upper left netting. Then, only one minute after that, Chelsea’s Will Bevill took a hard shot on goal that was knocked away by the Moody keeper, but left midfielder Shelton Smith gathered the rebound and stuck it in the far right netting to give Chelsea the 4-1 lead.

Moody wouldn’t go down easy though, as Mancilla delivered a ball to Augustin Peral in the Chelsea box, and he was able to punch it into the far side left netting to cut the lead to 2.

As the half wore down, the goals slowed down, but Chelsea was able to notch one more with 7:55 left. Smith crossed a ball to Martindale who stuck the ball into the goal for the 5-2 lead which Chelsea carried into the half.

Ten minutes into the second half, King found Bevill with a through ball and Bevill held off the Moody defender as he punched in the breakaway goal, and Chelsea led 6-2.

One minute later, King found Martindale again, on a long through ball to the right wing. Martindale out manuevered the defense to gather the ball in the box and find the far left corner of the goal, giving him the hat trick and Chelsea the 7-2 lead.

Seven minutes later, Bevill won a loose ball in the Moody end, and he scored on a sharp dart of a shot for the unassisted goal.

Two minutes later, Chelsea reserve defender, Hayden Taylor, followed up on a deflected shot and stuck the put-back into the far netting to end the Chelsea scoring at 9. Moody’s Peral punched in one last goal with 4:14 left, but it was too little to matter. The Hornets had won and advanced to  the quarterfinal again.

“We started the year with an inexperienced group of young players who felt the pressure of living up to the high standard we set a year ago with a senior-laden group,” said Chelsea Coach Lee Miller. “To win our section and then advance to the quarterfinals is a huge accomplishment, but we’re excited to have one more sub-state game to compete for the right to go back to the Final Four.”

Chelsea will face Pinson Valley in a Class 5A quarterfinal match May 5.