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Chelsea and Dexter deadlock 1-1 in SEC championship soccer game

Chelsea swarms Dexter and takes control of the ball.
(Chelsea Update would like to thank Varsity Soccer Coach Shawn Hayes for the information in this story.)

Thursday night’s game began with both Chelsea and Dexter going back and forth, playing safe and not taking too many high-risk chances. Each team had a couple opportunities early on, but were unable to convert.

Then Chelsea drew an indirect kick outside the Dreadnaught penalty box around the 35-minute mark and took the lead with a goal by Ben Valek. Nick Brodbeck tapped the ball to Valek, who just struck it low, and as hard as he could. The ball deflected off a player or two and found its way into the back of the net.

Cheering on their teammates.

But, less than a minute later, Dexter had the ball in Chelsea’s penalty box, and Dreadnaught’s maintained possession as Chelsea frantically defended. Dexter was able to poke the ball through to an open player, who had the easy finish from 8-yards out to tie the game.

In the second half, both teams played with a ton of energy and created 3 or 4 good scoring opportunities each.  As exciting as it was to see them both go back and forth, neither team could score.

Chelsea fans thought the Bulldogs’ scored with about 12 minutes left to play when Ryan Hilbertcame into a 50/50 challenge, but he was just a hair late as he poked the ball free from the keeper’s hands and scored the goal.

Battle for the ball.

Although a judgment call, I felt the official made the right call — Hilbert (a.k.a “Pickels”) came in just a fraction of a second late. When the goalkeeper had the ball in his hands, it is considered a possession and no one can knock it out of his hands.

Setting up a play.

As time wore down, both teams rallied back and forth in extremely exciting fashion but the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Dexter finished with 6 shots on goal while Chelsea tallied 5.

The game was a lot of fun. In this “derby match” as we like to call it in soccer, both teams were hungry and came ready to play.

We had great support from our usual cast of fans, family and friends, however, last night we also had a whole student section supporting us on the sidelines. The students’ support was fantastic.

They really helped create a great environment and played as a 12th man for us. It was a lot of fun to see everyone out there supporting their classmates and friends last night.

Dexter is a very strong team that is well lead by Head Coach Scott Forrester. He has built a strong program and has had lots of success, including a couple of state titles and several SEC and District titles.

The Chelsea senior boys have dedicated themselves to building the Bulldog Soccer scene and programs and know that if, and hopefully when, they beat Dexter on a more consistent basis, they will have every opportunity, like the Dreads, to do damage in the state tournament.

Chelsea heading up field.

Both teams have a lot of friends on each side — Chelsea has more and more players playing in the Dexter Soccer Club at the high school level these days so they all know each other well and are good friends. It’s a really healthy relationship between the two sides.The boys have a lot of respect for one another and enjoy playing each other for those ‘bragging rights’ during their club season.

Of course, when it comes to the Chelsea vs. Dexter Soccer game during the high school season, those friendships are put aside for 80 minutes while each team battles hard for the result.

Both teams were playing for the SEC White Title and for the pride of their schools and programs. It was Chelsea’s Senior Night, honoring the nine seniors who have helped build this program into one that’s very competitive.

Next up for both sides:

Dexter Travels to Adrian on Monday for first round of the Districts v. the Adrian Maples at 5 p.m.

Chelsea travels to Milan on Monday for a first round v. the Milan Big Reds at 5 p.m.

The winning teams advance to next round, which will be played in Tecumseh on Wednesday. The district finals are on Saturday in Tecumseh at 1 p.m.

A battle for the ball during Thursday's 1-1 tie with Dexter.
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1 thought on “Chelsea and Dexter deadlock 1-1 in SEC championship soccer game”

  1. As parents of a varsity soccer player, we wanted to write a letter to express our appreciation for the wonderful support that we saw on Thursday in our game against Dexter. The stands were full of parents, Chelsea staff, former players, former parents, and others from our community who just enjoy a great game. And they got one. Both teams played admirably and fought to a 1-1 tie. Unfortunately, that gave Dexter the SEC White division title. We will probably have another shot at them next Saturday in Tecumseh for District playoffs, and we encourage anyone who wants to see an exciting game to come out and support Chelsea.

    But we especially wanted to express our immense gratitude to the student body that showed up to support their classmates. A large crowd of students sat on the hill to encourage our team; Dexter players were a little intimidated by the turnout, and a player was heard to say that it was “crazy loud.” Special thanks should go out to the football players and cheerleaders who made up a significant part of the block. There were about 10 football players with posters of the senior soccer players leading cheers with the crowd. We don’t know who got the crowd out, but Jay Szcodronski has been a year-long fan and supporter, as well as Craig Riley. Also, the energy that Travis Nichols brought to the crowd definitely helped to fire up the team. At the end of the game, when the soccer team ran across the field to greet the fans, they were mobbed by the students in congratulatory hugs.

    There are no words to describe how much this meant to both the players and their parents. We wanted to recognize and thank the students that made that game a memorable one for the players.We would be grateful if there was a way to let the students that made this so special know how much it was appreciated.

    And thanks to Shawn Hayes and Matt Pedlow for building a strong program that everyone in the community can feel proud to support and cheer for!

    Go Dawgs!

    Joe Hoeflinger & Rosie Lemons

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