Chattanooga Christian got the start they wanted in their soccer match against Dalton on Friday.
The Catamounts got the result they needed.
Dalton, ranked No. 6 in Georgia Class AAA, scored two goals in a four-minute stretch in the first half and made it stick, holding on to defeat the highly regarded Chargers 2-1 at CCS Friday night.
The Chargers wasted no time getting on the board, with Beau Simmons firing a low line drive past Dalton keeper Tony Olvera 15 seconds into the match off an assist from Will Taylor. Dalton coach Matt Cheaves noted that his team was caught off guard.
“We had no time to get started,” he said. “It happened so fast, we didn’t have time to react.”
Dalton’s team speed from front to back finally started to take over, and the team evened the score at the 20-minute mark when Thiago Ferraz scored on an assist from Andres Barragan. They took the lead three minutes later when Rene Real scored off a pass from Ivan Cruz.
“We were disappointed at halftime,” CCS coach Shawn Brower said. “We thought both of the goals scored were avoidable, but I thought we came back and battled in the second half against a top team.”
The second half matched truly matched each team’s strengths as the Catamounts’ speed battled against the Chargers’ tactical skill. Both teams had opportunities to put shots away, but strong defensive stands were made, as well as opportunities on goal that sailed high or wide.
“I thought this was the best we’ve played all year,” Cheaves said. “We made some key defensive stops at the right times, and managed the game very well.
“This is probably our team’s best win so far.”
The Catamounts improved to 11-2 on the season, while CCS falls to 3-2 — with both losses coming to Georgia schools.
“We’re disappointed to lose, but there’s no disgrace in this loss,” Brower said. “We were competitive in the second half.
“Dalton’s a team that can make you pay for little mistakes, and tonight that cost us.”