Chelsea girls score 4 unanswered in opening-round road win

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

GARDENDALE – Despite being the No. 3 team in Class 6A, the Chelsea Hornets’ girls soccer team had to hit the road for the opening round of the playoffs after finishing runner-up in the area to No. 1 Homewood.

That, however, didn’t seem to bother the Hornets on Thursday, April 22 in the first round, as they traveled to Gardendale motivated and overcame an early 1-0 deficit with four unanswered to take down the Rockets 4-1 and advance to the second round of the Class 6A playoffs.

Chelsea did get off to a slow start in the game, falling behind 1-0 in the first 25 minutes of action, but the Hornets finally seemed to start clicking late in the opening half.

They pushed through the equalizer with 12:29 left in the opening half, and then got one of the shots of the game just before time expired to end the opening half when Avery Burleson booted a shot from close to 40 yards out and buried it in the back of the net for a 2-1 halftime lead.

That spark was all the Hornets needed.

Not only did they now have the lead, but they were confident and had stolen away all momentum going into the second half.

It showed early when Lucy Allen pushed through a goal less than four minutes into the half to give Chelsea a 3-1 advantage with 36:28 to play.

From there, the Hornets got to rely on their defense and goaltending with a two-goal cushion.

It led to a scoreless stretch for much of the second half, but Gardendale’s attempt at a comeback ended up leading to Chelsea getting one more goal with 1:03 left off a shot from Haley Duca to complete the 4-1 win.

With the win, Chelsea advanced to the second round where the Hornets will host Mortimer Jordan on April 27 at 6 p.m. looking for a spot in the quarterfinals.