Lady Hornets soccer season gets going soon


Abbie Johns, Chelsea Buzz Reporter

This upcoming spring, the Lady Hornets will be in season for soccer. The team has high hopes for the season and revenge for their defeat against Homewood in the Elite Eight last year. Their record stands as 14-6-1 for the last season. 

The Lady Hornets have incredible match ups in their region. With Briarwood, Homewood, and Mountain brook wanting to win the region, Chelsea has to make improvements for a chance to get a ticket into State Playoffs. 

Chelsea Buzz tuned in with head coach Jonathan Hammett and JV coach Allison Gooch to hear what they have to say on the upcoming season. 

¨I am excited to see how the season unfolds,” Hammett said. “We’ve added some young players to an experienced roster which brings some much needed depth.  We will have another challenging year in area play with Homewood, Mountain Brook, and Briarwood.  Any of the four teams in our area that makes it to the Final Four in Huntsville, will be the favorite to win the state championship.”

Gooch also gave her thoughts on the upcoming year.

¨This year’s soccer season has a ton of potential with the amount of returning players on my roster. The benefit to that is I have a vast majority of the team that already know my expectations as their coach, and can help project that on to the new comers.”

The Lady Hornets have lots of talent on their team and have another chance at winning state. With JV, Coach Alli has high hopes to train the younger ones to the varsity level for when their time comes. Chelsea Buzz wanted to know what preparations the coaches were taking to get to that State title.

¨We are in our traditional off season workout program with a focus on the weight room and getting stronger,” Hammett said. “On the days where we aren’t in the weight room and the weather allows, we are outside working on speed, agility, and ACL prevention exercises.  The high school season is long and physically demanding with multiple games each week.”

Gooch said that much planning goes into the off-season training.

¨I am planning to build on a lot of last year’s concepts, as well as create more ways to measure the success of my players,” she said.. “During the off-season, those measurements will come in the form of tracking weight room and fitness progress in the form of 5-rep maxes and the Beep Test.

“Coach Hammett and I have a spreadsheet that we are updating bi-weekly of the weight the girls are lifting in the weight room, and as those weights become easier with form still intact, they are asked to increase their weight. We will track each point of progress they make both in the weight room, and on the field when we start running the beep test every other month.¨

The Lady Hornets seem to be incorporating more exercises as each year passes. Chelsea has taken advantage of the new weight room facility, as this is the first year girls soccer has started weight room over the summer.

The team has made much progress in this off season to prepare for the upcoming battles, but every team will have a challenge to overcome.

¨The two biggest challenges for any team sport is buy-in and team chemistry,” Hammett said. “Players must buy in to the program, process, and trust the coaches to put the right players in the best position for the success of the team.  Additionally, the player must understand their role and contribution is about the team and not themselves.  Teammates must trust each other and be willing to play their hardest for the sake of the team and teammates. 

“If these two characteristics are the focus of every player in the program, we win.¨

Contribution and role is an important part of the team. The Lady Hornets lost four seniors, three of which were Chelsea starters. This not only affects who is on the field together, but affects team chemistry because there are many newcomers.

Avery Burleson, one of the seniors for this upcoming season gave her thoughts on the upcoming season.

¨I am going to lead the varsity soccer team by pushing every individual to get better each day whether it be by getting stronger in the weight room or faster/more technical on the soccer field,” Burleson said. “I’m going to lead through positive reinforcement, but at the same time through honest and encouraging words. 

With the new players on the team Burleson is one leader who has emerged.

The Hornets will have a new goalkeeper this year as Mackenzie Titus, a senior starter last year, has departed. Hannah Garrett now has to step up and fill the big shoes ¨Mac¨ left behind to lead Chelsea into victory. 

¨I feel good about being goalie this upcoming season and overjoyed because goalkeeper is my love and has been since I started playing,” Titus said. “I am, however, a little nervous. Last season, I was compared to Mac even though we are two different players. Mac will always be a big sister to me though.”

There are many changes happening to the girls soccer team to make room for improvement. The Lady Hornets seem to have a bright season ahead with these phenomenal individuals making an impact on the team.