By Official Florida FC

The Yulee boys soccer team may have a new coach, but the same mentality that lifted the Hornets to the state semifinals last year.

Yulee (11-4-1) eliminated Stanton College Prep 3-1 on Tuesday night in Jacksonville on a night where its entire traveling support was kicked out of the stands.

The Hornets trailed at the hour mark and were challenged by first-year head coach Shelton McLean at halftime.

“We played them in the district final and we went to a hard-fought battle,” McLean said. “We ended up losing 1-0. We had some great chances at the end of the game. From that game to this point we just focused. We knew we had it. We just had to play our game. In that first 45 minutes we were teetering. Then, right there after the second water break, we just decided to play our game and that’s where we came out on top.”

Stanton’s Dhruv Garud opened the scoring in the 19th minute. The Blue Devils (12-6-1) missed a golden opportunity earlier in the half when they somehow missed the frame of the goal from two yards away.

When Stanton didn’t put away its chances, it left the door open for Yulee to burst through and take the game.

That’s what the Hornets did. But, only after play was stopped in the 45th minute.

Officials accused Yulee supporters of berating them and spewing expletives. When they asked the culprit to leave, no one stepped forward. Since no one stepped up, the officials ordered the entire traveling fanbase to leave.

Yulee supporters appeared to be in no rush to vacate. When the center official indicated to Hornets co-captain Joe Walsh that if the fans didn’t leave, Yulee would “terminate” the match.

Once the official indicated that termination meant that not only would the game end, Yulee’s season would end as well.

Walsh demanded the fans leave. And, they did.

He made sure they had another match to attend.

Walsh opened the scoring in the 63rd minute. Brayden Cholewa whipped in a free kick from the right. Walsh met it with his head and deposited it into the side netting.

Yulee supporters spent the first half howling about perceived no-calls. They might have had an argument in the 66th minute when Stanton appeared to handle the ball in the penalty area.

No call.

That wasn’t a problem for Walsh. In the 69th, his free kick took a massive deflection and went in.

The Hornets buzzed around the pitch of the stadium nicknamed Estadio Moncrief in delight.

But, they weren’t done. Freshman Xander Stokes fired home a free kick in the 77th minute to end the match.

Region 1-4A is wide open because the top three seeds all lost in the regional quarterfinal.

The sixth-seeded Hornets will host South Walton squad that has conceded more goals than it has scored. South Walton (7-12-2) has not won consecutive matches all season.

With a win, Yulee would either host Crawfordville Wakulla in the regional final or return to Jacksonville and meet Bishop Kenny once again in the postseason.