Montevallo boys, girls soccer teams make school history

Published 2:13 pm Sunday, April 23, 2023

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor 

NORTHPORT – Despite being more than an hour from home, there was plenty of reason for the Montevallo High School boys soccer team to celebrate on Thursday, April 20 following a historic night.

Thanks to their third shutout in a row and fifth in the last six games, the Bulldogs not only claimed the Class 4A, Area 3 Championship, but they did so for the first time in school history in a 5-0 victory on the road against the Northside Rams.

With the win, not only did the Bulldogs claim the area title for the first time and put their names in the history books, but they will now head to the postseason for just the second time in school history.

All of that under first-year head coach Brandon Gurganus.

The Bulldogs scored three goals in the opening half of the game to take a 3-0 advantage into the break, and then carried that confidence the rest of the night on their way to two more goals in the second half for the five-goal win.

Montevallo got two goals each from Alexis Lopez and Irving Choto to account for four of the team’s goals in the win, while Ricky Chavez added one goal to create the 5-0 victory.

In their last three games, the Bulldogs have outscored opponents 18-0 with three consecutive shutouts, while they have outscored their last six opponents by a combined 25-1, losing just one 1-0 game in that span to Holt High School.

The offense has had success much of the season, but the defense has been steady all season with very few hiccups. Through 16 games, the Bulldogs have 10 shutouts and have given up one goal or less in 13 of 16 games this season.

In addition to that, two of their three losses have come by one goal. It has been a consistent effort that has allowed Montevallo to go into the postseason as the No. 6 team in the 4A classification.

Led by Lopez, a freshman midfielder, and Giovanni Hernandez, a senior striker and center back, the Bulldogs will open the playoffs on May 1 or 2 looking to continue a historic run.

As for the girls, they set their own historic mark with a win over Holt High School on April 6.

The Bulldogs came from behind to win the game 2-1 to clinch a spot in the playoffs for the first time in school history thanks to a runner-up finish in the area standings.

That win completed the season sweep of Holt with wins of 3-1 and 2-1, which ultimately locked up the runner-up finish to American Christian Academy in the area, who the Bulldogs narrowly beat in their first matchup this season, falling 3-2.

Montevallo has gone 6-2 in its last eight games and is now up to No. 9 in the Class 4A standings, and, similar to the boys, the Bulldogs are led by first-year head coach Rylee Holt.

Led by senior midfielder and striker Leila Mendonca, the Bulldogs will get set to hit the road for their first-round matchup against Oneonta on Tuesday, May 2 with hopes of a special playoff run. Oneonta won an area championship to by finishing 4-0 in the area, but those were four of the team’s six wins on the season.