Boys soccer defeats area rivals Hewitt-Trussville to keep playoff hopes alive


Luke Miller, Chelsea Buzz Reporter

On Friday, April 7, the boys soccer team faced the most important test of the season when they hosted Hewitt-Trussville in a massively important area game.

After a lackluster 1-3 start to area play, including a disappointing 2-0 loss at Hewitt-Trussville, the Hornets were in dire need of an area victory. 

A loss to the Huskies would mean elimination from playoff contention for a third straight year for the Hornets. Additionally, winning by less than three goals would still tip most of the tiebreakers in the favor of Hewitt.

So, with a mountain to climb and a postseason opportunity hanging in the balance, head coach Lee Miller put his team to work preparing for a do-or-die scenario.

Miller’s specified tactics that the team had practiced specifically for this game proved effective, as the Hornets jumped into the lead via senior midfielder Davis Spencer. Shortly after, Chelsea’s relentless pressure forced a Hewitt defender to make a costly mistake, granting an easy goal to senior forward Leighton Garrard. 

The Hornets went into the break feeling confident and dominating play, but the Huskies ramped up the pressure in the second half.

Despite a few nervous moments, Chelsea were defensively sound, and Hewitt struggled to break through.

“I’m proud of the defensive structure we had,” said team captain Isaac Tindall after the game.

Then, a quick brace from sophomore striker Max Wever brought the score to 4-0 in favor of the Hornets, and all but crushed Hewitt’s hopes.

Miller’s team was able to keep Hewitt out for the remaining 20 minutes, and emerged victorious. The Hornets are now in prime position to secure a playoff berth for the first time since 2019.

“I’m proud of the fact that all the boys, after all the hard work we’ve done, were able to come together and get the job done,” said freshman winger Parker Dean.

The hope of the playoffs has brought a revitalized energy and liveliness to the team. With a big milestone now in sight, the players are determined to make it happen.

“I don’t think the attitude is going to change,” said Dean. “We know we’ve got a chance, so everyone’s head is up and we’re ready to go.”

The Hornets understand the difficulty of their ambition, and that it is not guaranteed, but they are determined and confident in what they can do.

“We need to focus on playing as a team and play every game like we absolutely have to win,” said Tindall.

The meaning of a playoff berth is not lost on the Hornets. The players have shared how important it is for them to bring back something that used to be a consistent occurrence in the program.

“It would mean a lot to the boys, because we’ve only made the final four one time, so it would just give us that much more confidence and we could go even further,” said Dean.

The Hornets now only have one area game remaining. They visit Spain Park in the last regular season game of 2023 on April 25, and it could determine whether or not they will feature as one of the 16 teams in the postseason. Miller and his squad have already gotten to work preparing for what could be one of the most successful soccer seasons Chelsea has seen in years.