Chattanooga FC wins home finale with goal from former Dalton star

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / Damian Rodriguez, right, competes with Richard Dixon during Chattanooga FC's practice Thursday at Baylor. Rodriguez was a senior standout for Dalton High School this past spring as the Catamounts won their sixth Georgia state title.

Former Dalton High School standout Damian Rodriguez has had quite the year.

The 18-year-old scored his first professional goal to help the Chattanooga Football Club make its final home match of the year a 1-0 victory over the Michigan Stars FC on a chilly Saturday night at Finley Stadium.

In the 29th minute, Juan Hernandez found Markus Naglestad, who made a run from the right sideline and kicked back to Rodriguez, who stopped at the top right of the 18-yard box. He then skipped a shot into the left half of the net.

Rodriguez was lifted into the air by the 31-year old Hernandez as the club's most seasoned player celebrated with the budding talent who captained his high school national powerhouse to a 20-0-2 record and the program's sixth GHSA state title in May.

CFC improved to 6-9-2 in the National Independent Soccer Association fall schedule, which it will close next Saturday against Stumptown AC (4-4-8) in Matthews, North Carolina.

The Stars dropped to 5-6-6 with the loss in Chattanooga.

Compiled by Patrick MacCoon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.