Chattanooga FC women’s side suffered a 3-1 defeat against the Knoxville 865 Alliance on Friday night. Summer Hernandez scored the lone consolation goal as the women in blue were unable to overturn an early deficit.
The WPSL side had a chance to return to the top of the conference standings with a win in front of a large and loyal crowd under the lights at Finley Stadium.
The two sides already met once in the season, with Chattanooga overturning a two-goal deficit to bring a point home from Knoxville.
Unfortunately, the game didn’t start brightly for Chattanooga. After seeing an early Summer Hernandez chance saved, 865 Alliance scored two goals in quick succession. The first was from a long ball over the top that allowed the forward to round the keeper and slide the ball home. The second was scored by a volley from an unmarked player in the box. Chattanooga was down 2-0 after just seven minutes.
“After the first one was scored, mentally we checked out for a little bit.” Coach Douglas recalled after the game. “We allowed them some space in some areas that we haven’t given up all season.”
After a rallying huddle, the women began to put their best feet forward. Much of the play through the rest of the half was in 865’s defensive half, with Chattanooga putting on pressure through possession.
However, there were to be no more goals in the half as the teams returned to the locker room facing a 2-0 scoreline in favor of the visitors.
Chattanooga came out swinging in the second half.
“In the second half, I think we created enough. We put pressure on their goal, you saw the momentum change,” added Douglas.
Despite the pressure from the women in blue, it was the 865 Alliance that scored next. Another ball over the top mirroring the opening goal allowed the visitors the go up 3-0 against the run of play.
Chattanooga finally got on the board in the 58th minute. Summer Hernandez received the ball in the box, turned, and scooped a shot just over the keeper. Suddenly there was hope with a 3-1 scoreline.
“Once we got the first one, it was like ‘we can make this happen,’ and we had enough chances, that wasn’t a question,” said Douglas.
Indeed, the CFC Women created chance after chance throughout the remainder of the half. But nothing could find the back of the net.
Despite dominating the half and large stretches of the entire game, the final whistle confirmed a 3-1 score.
Coach Douglas was proud of his side's effort.
“We have to improve," he said. "We have to play better and smarter. I don’t think we need to play harder; I think we play hard. We give a good account of ourselves work-rate-wise, but if you look back at four games now, we’ve had to chase the game and we haven’t scored the first goal in those games. We have to do better about establishing ourselves and getting the first goal.”
Chattanooga FC women’s side still has two more regular season games. After a road trip to Charlotte on June 24, the team wraps up the regular season at Finley Stadium on July 1st against Soda City FC from Columbia, South Carolina.
About Chattanooga Football Club
Chattanooga Football Club was founded in 2009. The CFC Men's team competes in the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA), which is in the third division of professional soccer. The CFC Women's team is a summer amateur team that competes in the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL). 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. CFC plays all home games in Finley Stadium in Chattanooga.