Westminster OM breezes past Donoho in opening round of playoffs

Published 12:03 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – It was business as usual for the Westminster at Oak Mountain Knights as they took care of business in the first round of the Class 1A-3A playoffs once again with a 5-0 win over the Donoho Falcons on Monday, April 29 at Westminster School at Oak Mountain.

With the Knights entering the match as the No. 3 team in the coaches poll and an undefeated 10-0 area record, they used that momentum to take the fight to the Falcons early and often.

After 12 minutes of buildup featuring chances from Luke Likens and Andrew Giadrosich, Holden Smith found Likens for the opening goal to put Westminster up 1-0.

The Knights continued to get the lion’s share of the chances for the rest of the half as they fought off Donoho’s offensive efforts and kept building towards another breakthrough goal.

That second goal came with mere seconds left in the half. With the public address announcer counting down the seconds from 10, Aiden Gamble made the pass to Charlie Krulak on the break, and Krulak slotted the ball into the net with just two seconds left.

The goal gave Westminster a 2-0 lead at the half and gave it a foundation to build off of in the second half.

The Knights had a pair of efforts on goal in the 47th minute that were saved, including a shot from outside the box that was just saved off the fingertips, but soon enough, they got another scoring chance.

Westminster won a penalty in the 50th minute, and after Gamble walked up to the spot, he placed the ball in the bottom left corner and scored to make the lead 3-0.

Three minutes later, the Knights forced a diving save off a cross from the left wing, and they would score once again shortly after.

In the 56th minute, Krulak hit a chip shot from the middle of the box for his second goal of the game and Westminster’s fourth.

After a handful of additional chances over the next 15 minutes, the Knights got a corner kick in the 70th minute. After the initial effort was blocked and a second attempt was saved, Smith had the ball inside the eight-yard box but sent the ball back to Gamble who fired a shot from the middle of the box to score and wrap up the 5-0 win.

With the victory, Westminster advanced to the second round to face Collinsville on Thursday, May 2 at 5 p.m. at Westminster School at Oak Mountain with a spot in the Final Four on the line.