Notre Dame's Brian Delaney, No. 12, dives in for a tackle against CCS's Michael Powell, No. 3, during Tuesday's match. The Notre Dame High School and Chattanooga Christian soccer teams played at Notre Dame on Tuesday evening. Staff photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Should Notre Dame and Chattanooga Christian face each other in soccer again this season, it’s safe to say that a winner will be crowned — as well as a district champion.
As of now, though, neither can claim a victory. The rivals battled to a 2-2 tie Tuesday night at Notre Dame.
Both coaches were able to pull positives from the stalemate. CCS coach Shawn Brower’s shorthanded Chargers were able to take a one-goal edge twice. The reverse of that, though, was that Jim Schermerhorn’s Irish were able to recover from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits.
“I thought we did a good job of battling back,” Schermerhorn said.
Beau Simmons gave the Chargers a 1-0 lead in the first half on a ball bouncing around in the box, but four minutes later, Blaise DiStefano tied the game on a header from a Justin Gazick corner kick.
Clark Marshall put the Chargers back ahead in the 49th minute, once again on a ball inside the box. CCS held that lead for almost 30 minutes until Cruz Esparza netted a shot off a Wes Blanton throw-in.
“We really had to adjust to a different style of playing,” Brower said. “Notre Dame believed they could compete; they played hard to the end and gave us all we could handle.”
The Chargers played almost exclusively without star forward Rocklin Shumaker, who started but came out about five minutes in, still bothered by a groin injury. Will Taylor remains out with a badly sprained ankle, but Clark Holt returned to action after being out early in the season.
Adam Ryan went out with a head injury in the first half but later returned.
“We’re still trying to find who we are,” Brower said. “We haven’t had the same lineup since the second game of the season, but I believe in the character of these guys. Most teams go through this.”
The teams have identical 2-0-1 records in District 7-A/AA, with one game remaining for each. The Chargers still have to face Sequatchie County, while Notre Dame will face Signal Mountain.
“It’s definitely going to make the district [tournament] interesting,” Schermerhorn said. “We didn’t lose the match, and I’ll take that any time.
“I feel good about how we played. We had a good effort in an all-out battle.”
Contact Gene Henley at email@example.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/gh3sports.
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