Westminster boys and girls headed to quarterfinals

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – The Westminster Knights soccer program is off and rolling in the postseason after both the boys and girls picked up mercy-rule wins in the first round of the Class 1A-3A playoffs on Monday, April 30, and Tuesday, May 1, respectively.

For the boys, who have lost just two games in 22 contests this season, it was just another game as they hosted Montevallo in the first round of the playoffs.

It didn’t take much for the Knights, who in one half of action was able to put up 12 goals to win by a mercy-rule final of 12-0. The Knights have now only lost to Chelsea and Briarwood on their run to the quarterfinals of the playoffs.

Sitting just a win away from the Final Four, Westminster has a matchup with 16-9-1 Montgomery Academy in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. It’s a team Indian Springs beat 4-0 back on April 10.

It was an equally dominant performance for the girls, who hosted Prattville Christian Academy in the first round of the playoffs and went on to pick up a mercy-rule win as well.

The Knights scored their 10th and final goal of the game to pick up the mercy rule with 46 seconds left to play, basically playing an entire game.

Nonetheless, the 10-0 win matched that of the counterpart Westminster will face in the quarterfinals, as Montgomery Academy’s girls team went on to win 10-0 in the first round as well.

The scoring for the Lady Knights started early in the game as five minutes in Virginia Welch fired a shot into the back of the net for the 1-0 advantage.

Shortly after that, Katie Hoaglund, who had several assists during the game, played in a corner kick to the near post and found Tori Deen right next to the post. Deen quickly gathered the ball with a scrum of people around her and put it into the goal for the Knights second of the game.

Scoring became quiet for a while after that, but Morgan White started getting several good looks and it seemed to be a matter of time before she was going to score.

That time came 23 minutes into the first half when White found herself in a one-on-one situation with herself and the defender. She eventually crossed the defender over and had an easy look at the goal, which she didn’t pass up firing the shot into the back of the net for a 3-0 Westminster lead.

A few minutes later, Hoaglund found herself with the ball again and dribbled it into a good position before crossing it into the box. Waiting for it was Welch, who buried the shot for a 4-0 lead and her second goal of the first half.

It didn’t take long for someone to join her with two goals in the first half, as Deen scored on a shot after the Prattville goalkeeper backed off the ball despite being close enough to pick it up, which led to a 5-0 Westminster lead at the half.

The second half was more of the same and saw two players cap off hat-trick performances.

Morgan White scored the first two goals of the half for the Knights within 15 minutes to pick up a hat trick and give her team a 7-0 advantage. After an assist from Hoaglund to Isabelle Giddens put them up 8-0, Welch scored with a one-timer to put the Knights on top 9-0.

Finally, after assisting on several goals throughout the night, Hoaglund scored her lone goal with 46 seconds left to end the game at 10-0.

The Knights will now host Montgomery Academy on Saturday, May 5, a team they lost to 11-3 on April 10, meaning Westminster will be looking for redemption and one of its best performances of the season in order to advance to the Final Four.