Chelsea girls and boys compete against Northridge

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

CHELSEA – Both the Chelsea boys and girls soccer teams are off to 3-2-1 starts to the 2018 soccer season, but both are in different situations as the girls are coming off a state championship season and the boys are looking to rebound from a subpar season in 2017.

The two teams took on Northridge on Tuesday, Feb. 27, on their home field, marking the first home game for the girls.

Each team has picked up an impressive win early in the season as the boys have a 3-1 win over a very good Westminster at Oak Mountain team, while the girls have beaten both Gardendale and Calera.

The girls team went into their matchup with Northridge having lost back-to-back games against 7A top-10 teams Bob Jones and Oak Mountain by a combined score of 11-2 in the Lakeshore Shootout.

Playing against those two tough opponents over the weekend, seemed to turn a page for the Chelsea girls as they came out and dominated Northridge the entire game to win by the final of 5-0.

The Chelsea girls will play their first area game against Helena on Tuesday, March 6, and then host Pelham in an area matchup on March 13.

Chelsea’s boys took to the field against Northridge at the completion of the girls game and found themselves in a much tougher battle.

The first half of the game wasn’t as much a battle for the win, but a battle to see which team could play less sloppy as neither team seemed to be clicking on all cylinders.

It led to a 0-0 tie at the end of the first half as neither team got many looks at the goal in the opening 40 minutes of the game.

In the first 30 seconds of the second half, both teams finally started turning up the heat offensively and had a good luck at the goal, which created the most excitement in the game up to that point.

At first the newly-energized play seemed to favor Northridge as they started attacking and eventually scored the game’s first goal less than five minutes into the second half.

Then Chelsea started to take advantage of their offensive chances. It started with a free kick as Lando Nichols got a great look, but the ball sailed just over the top crossbar.

Almost exactly five minutes later, Nichols got his chance at redemption and made it count. A beautiful feed pass from Tony Nettuno led to Nichols burying a shot into the back of the net easily to tie the game at 1-1 with around 20 minutes remaining in the game.

The game became a stalemate after that goal, but at least ended in a draw after Nichols’ equalizer midway through the second half. It marked his ninth goal of the season, while Nettuno picked up another assist on the season.

While it didn’t end in a win, it marked Chelsea’s second time drawing or beating a top-10 team this season.