Region 4-A/AA semifinals
CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN 10, CENTRAL MAGNET 1
Halftime score: CCS, 5-0. Goals: Natalie Thedford, Kruesi Brock 2, Ashley Simmons 2, Caroline Gunter, Sarah Farlett 2, Hannah Henry 2, Natalie Thedford, Caroline Gunter; Hannah Cagle (CMS). Assists: Anna Hoffman 3, Kendra Jolly (CCS). Shots: 20-4, CCS. Saves: McKenzie Abernathy 6 (CMS); Lauren Pruitt 1, Abby Whiteside 1 (CCS). Records: CCS 16-3-2; CMS 7-7-3.
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NOTRE DAME 4, LIVINGSTON ACADEMY 0
Halftime score: 1-0. Goals: Erin Freeman, Elizabeth Ciabattone, Lacey Mahoney, Liz Kidwell. Assists: Freeman 2, Sophie Mullin, McKenzie Nadeau. Saves: Grace Courter 1 (ND). Defensive standout: Ashley Henry, Laura Champion (ND). Record: Notre Dame 6-10-3.
This time a year ago was not a good memory for Cal Sneller and his Chattanooga Christian girls' soccer team. A promising season came to an abrupt halt with a 1-0 loss to Livingston Academy although CCS totally dominated play.
So following Tuesday night's 10-1 win over Central Magnet School of Murfreesboro in the Region 4-A/AA semifinals, Sneller and his Lady Chargers were able to put that memory behind them -- at least for now.
"Last year we made the trip to Livingston and lost 1-0 even though we had 20-something shots to four," Sneller said. "After that, the girls know that you never are guaranteed to go on to the next one. It's very important to score and score early. It makes me feel better, that's for sure, and that's the idea: Keep coach happy."
The Lady Chargers will host District 7 rival Notre Dame in the region final at 7 p.m. Thursday but are guaranteed a state sectional game Saturday. Notre Dame won 4-0 at Livingston with Erin Freeman, Elizabeth Ciabattone, Lacey Mahoney and Liz Kidwell scoring the goals. Freeman also had two assists for the Lady Irish (6-10-3), who led 1-0 at halftime.
The Lady Chargers again held a 20-4 shot advantage, but this time half of their shots found the net, with seven players getting in the scoring column. Leading scorer Kruesi Brock, Ashley Simmons and Hannah Henry each scored twice and Sneller was able to use his bench early after building a 4-0 lead less than 18 minutes in.
"Everybody got a lot of playing time, and that's a good thing," he said. "We wanted to keep working on things that would improve us for the next game, like passing to feet instead of space."
Natalie Thedford got the scoring started barely three minutes in from one of Anna Hoffman's three assists. Brock scored an unassisted goal four minutes later, and Simmons scored her first off a corner kick five minutes after that.
Afterward, Thedford, one of a handful of seniors on the team, couldn't help but think of last year's disappointing ending.
"Sometimes when we play other teams we have trouble scoring, even though we get more shots," the striker said. "This was refreshing in that we shot and scored a lot. We're glad to get past that, so we can definitely be playing Saturday."
Sneller knows the next opponent won't be so generous with the goals.
"We get Notre Dame Thursday and I think they're ready for it," said Sneller, whose team edged the Lady Irish 1-0 last week. "We know each other fairly well, so there will be no secrets."
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...