published Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Chattanooga Football Club women play to 1-1 tie

Chattanooga's Alma Gardarsdottir, left, and Knoxville's Morgan Gruenfielder struggle for the ball during the Chattanooga FC versus Knoxville FC soccer game on Saturday at Finley Stadium.
Chattanooga's Alma Gardarsdottir, left, and Knoxville's Morgan Gruenfielder struggle for the ball during the Chattanooga FC versus Knoxville FC soccer game on Saturday at Finley Stadium.
Photo by Erin O. Smith.

The weather gave to the Chattanooga Football Club women Saturday, but eventually it took away.

The CFC played the Knoxville Force to a 1-all tie at Finley Stadium. The match started two and a half hours late due to the inclement weather, with lightning delays that twice sent the players off the field before the match began. The CFC men's match against Knoxville FC didn't start until 9:30.

The CFC women (4-3-1) benefited from a wet playing surface, which led to a misplayed ball by the Lady Force. Yet neither the delay nor the field really affected the play, said CFC forward Kristina Heredia, who scored her team's goal in the 29th minute.

"I think because it was turf, it didn't affect us as bad as it would have on a regular field," Heredia said. "We had to try and stay focused before the match [with all the delays], but I think our play in the first half showed that it didn't affect us too bad."

The Force had some solid opportunities in the first half. In the 22nd minute, a misplayed ball by a CFC defender led to a wide-open shot by Kathryn Culhane, but she hit the shot over the net. Later, the Force played a ball into the box, but Brittany Reid got a foot on it before Anna McClung would tap it in.

McClung did get her revenge in the 72nd minute, when a miscommunication in the defense led to a shot that eventually rolled into the net.

CFC missed on some chances in the second. Hannah Churchill and Paige Elliott both had shots from distance that were saved by former Chattanooga Christian and Lee University goalkeeper Leah Wilson. Elliott also had a nice cross that Katy Morris chipped just over the crossbar.

With the tie, CFC has 13 points and still is in first place with two matches left to play.

"I thought that under the circumstances, we played well," CFC coach Patrick Winecoff said. "We missed on some chances that we had, but with the delay I thought we did well. We're still in line to be in first place heading into the playoffs."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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