Midway through the second half of the Tennessee-Georgia All-Star boys' soccer match Saturday at Finley Stadium, Tennessee head coach John Brose looked at his team, clipboard in hand, and proclaimed, "You guys asking out is messing up my subbing plan."
There was no anger in the voice of the Cleveland coach, especially as he watched the final result.
McCallie's Arturo Rocha had a goal and an assist as Tennessee beat Georgia 2-1 to improve to 5-1-1 in the series. The girls' match ended in a 1-1 tie, leaving the series at 4-1-2 in in favor of Tennessee.
Rocha was named player of the boys' match for Tennessee, while the Georgia honor went to Northwest Whitfield's Mario Perez for his pressure on the goal.
"Honestly, we all just had a great time," Brose said. "I was honored they asked me to be a part of it. It was fun; I had great players and kids, and they were extremely fun to work with."
Rocha gave Tennessee a 1-0 lead with a goal assisted by McCallie teammate Angel Cruz early in the match, then assisted Ooltewah's Felipe' Munoz in the second half. Georgia halved the lead late when Matt Esquivel was fouled in the box and converted the ensuing penalty kick.
The girls' match was a far cry from last season, won 8-0 by Tennessee. Georgia had only seven players then but increased that to 12 this year. Tennessee's girls fired shots from all angles, but the rust of an eight-month layoff led to some poor shooting at times. They finished with 16 shots, but Georgia scored first when Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe's Courtney Born popped a shot that keeper Haley Meyers from Soddy-Daisy couldn't handle.
Signal Mountain's Lila Fisher tied the score late from an assist by Chattanooga Christian's Natalie Thedford.
"It was fun for the most part, but I'm not a player that likes to lose," Fisher said. "Their goal took the match to a whole new intensity level, and it was like a whole new game."