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Valiant effort by CFC Women falls just short in Knoxville

By Patrick Warren, 06/26/22, 7:00PM EDT

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On a muggy Sunday afternoon in Knoxville, Chattanooga FC women’s team fell 1-0 to Tennessee Force FC. 

The deciding goal came in the 88th minute. A short cross from a TN Force forward was well played, beating keeper Caroline Johnson and breaking the longstanding 0-0 tie. 

The goal came after an intense match in which Chattanooga had numerous second half opportunities at goal. 

While there were no goals scored in the first half, there was no shortage of action. CFC goalkeeper Caroline Johnson had a number of saves, including a key stop after a TN Force forward broke through the CFC front line. 

In the 17th minute, Chattanooga FC was awarded a free kick just outside of the TN Force penalty area. Isabel Aguilar’s shot was bottled up by the Force’s defense and the back-and-forth between the teams continued. 

Johnson got plenty of action in the first half, with her third save coming in the 27th minute. While the CFC defensive unit did an admirable job of keeping TN Force’s shot selection to a minimum, Johnson’s first half heroics led Chattanooga to a 0-0 first half score. 

Forward Demaris Gaines had the best shot of the first half, beating a TN Force defender and putting a shot on goal. However, the goalkeeper got the better of the shot, punching it out and forcing a corner kick. 

As the second half started, the clouds that were so graciously providing a bit of shade burned away and the game began to heat up. 

Johnson continued her impressive performance, with a massive save in the 56’ minute. The CFC keeper exited the goal area to meet a TN Force forward, blocking her shot and maintaining the 0-0 score. 

Isabel Aguilar displayed her ball handling abilities in the second half, patiently maneuvering around defenders and willing her way across midfield. Aguilar and Gaines displayed their chemistry, as Aguilar had multiple on-target downfield passes to her teammate. Gaines had a few well-placed shots on goal, but the TN Force defense held strong. 

With 20 minutes remaining in the game, CFC was dominating time of possession and looked to be on the brink of scoring. However the two teams continued the grueling battle without letting up, until TN Force’s goal in the 88th. 

With a host of Chattahooligans in the stands, it felt like Finley Stadium had been transported to Knoxville for the day. Even in a loss, CFC displayed their defensive strength and offensive chemistry. 

CFC will face off for their final match of the regular season away against Northern Alabama Soccer Coalition in Huntsville at 8:30 p.m. EST. 

About Chattanooga Football Club
Chattanooga Football Club was founded in 2009 with a Men's team and established a Women's team in 2013 to begin play 2014. In its most recent season of 2018, CFC Women went undefeated in the regular season to become the WPSL’s Southeast Conference Champions. The Women's team went on hiatus for three years during a club reorganization and during the pandemic. Chattanooga Football Club became the first soccer club to offer true ownership to the fans in 2019 with 3,200+ investors from Chattanooga, all 50 states, and 31 countries.

About the Women’s Premier Soccer League
In its 24th season, the WPSL is the longest active women’s soccer league and with more than 125 clubs from coast to coast in 35 states and, serves as the largest women’s soccer league in the world. WPSL rosters feature elite collegiate, post-collegiate, international, and standout prep student-athletes. Many of the United States’ most accomplished women’s players have played in the WPSL, including household names such as Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Julie Foudy, and Brandi Chastain.

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