ATHENS, Tenn.-McMinn County soccer coach David McDonald admitted "surprise" when his Cherokees netted three first-half goals Thursday against Soddy-Daisy.
Therefore, he was surprised again when they scored three more in the second.
In a battle of the last two teams without a District 5-AAA loss, McMinn scored within the first three minutes and pulled away for a 6-1 victory at the McMinn County Soccer Complex. The Cherokees improved to 5-1-2, 4-0 in 5-AAA, while the Trojans fell to 2-1 in the district and 3-4-1 overall.
The hosts scored two goals on rebounds and passed efficiently to create gaps and opportunities.
"I just thought we did an awesome job," McDonald said. "I expected a tight game against a good Soddy team, but we really used each other.
"We were hitting on all cylinders."
Cem Suebyeci had two goals for McMinn - his first making it 1-0 and his second in the 47th minute. Zach Myers, Dustin Partain, Will Rymer and Derek Kramar added goals for the Cherokees.
Soddy-Daisy's lone goal came from Brandon Givens with 18 minutes remaining. Trojans coach Dan Gleason praised goalkeeper Talon Hale, who withstood the furious McMinn shooting onslaught to finish with 13 saves.
"I thought we underperformed tonight," Gleason said. "We were shell-shocked in the first five minutes and just didn't do the little things we needed to do."
CCS has strong field
Chattanooga Christian will be the only area team participating in this year's Charger Invitational, which kicks off this afternoon at 3:30 when the host Chargers take on Cookeville.
CCS coach Shawn Brower feels this field is the "strongest ever," with top-flight schools from throughout the state.
"Every match has the potential to go down to the wire," he said. "We tried to not just get local teams; we tried to pull some of the top teams in the state of Tennessee."
Included this year are Christ Presbyterian Academy, Science Hill, Greeneville, Knoxville Catholic, Shelbyville and Alabama's Briarwood Christian.
The Chargers will go into the tournament with one of their top players, Rocklin Shumaker, questionable for action. The East Tennessee State signee and 2010 city player of the year is still recovering from a hamstring injury.