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Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Chattanooga Red Wolves forward Marky Hernandez gets a celebratory lift from midfielder Tanner Dieterich after Dieterich's goal during a USL League One match against Union Omaha on Sept. 15 at CHI Memorial Stadium in East Ridge. The Red Wolves, who played Wisconsin's Forward Madison FC to a 1-1 draw Saturday in their home finale, play at Richmond next weekend.

Ultimately, the week proved to be a success for both the Chattanooga Red Wolves and the East Ridge stadium they call home.

The ending of it — Saturday's 1-1 draw against Forward Madison FC that all but ended the Red Wolves' already slim hopes of making the USL League One postseason — could have been better where home finales are concerned.

However, earlier in the week the NCAA announced it would hold the Division II men's and women's soccer national championships at CHI Memorial Stadium in 2023 and 2024. It's a big prize for the facility that opened this summer, one year after the Red Wolves debuted and played home games at Chattanooga Christian School.

In addition, Saturday was also a "Pink Out" game with the Red Wolves partnering with CHI Memorial to support the MaryEllen Locher Breast Cancer Center. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The stadium is still far from team owner Bob Martino's ultimate vision for the site that will have developments that go beyond soccer, but there's been improvement. The Red Wolves were able to play home matches there this season, using a portable scoreboard and stands that aren't quite finished.

Now, with the Red Wolves' home schedule complete for 2020, focus can turn fully to the further advancement of the project.

"I think it's easy to get caught up in the soccer on the field," Red Wolves general manager Sean McDaniel said Saturday. "What was the result? Did we play well? But when you take a big step back and can look at the overall vision of what's coming up here, it goes well beyond the soccer on the field."

The upcoming plan is for executive suites to be installed next at the stadium, along with a 2,000-square foot scoreboard. Construction has also just begun on lights, condos and townhomes that will be erected around the facility, with the plan for some — if not all — of the projects to be completed prior to the 2021 season.

Saturday's on-field product wasn't quite as uplifting for Chattanooga's USL League One team, which is stuck at 19 points in the standings and mired in a slump of four consecutive matches without a win after a five-match undefeated streak.

There was an early burst, which led to a foul by Forward Madison in the box and a penalty kick that was put away by Greg Hurst in the eighth minute. The Red Wolves held that advantage for more than 60 minutes, but as has happened so many times this season, instead of Chattanooga building on its lead, that lead vanished in the second half, this time when Michael Vang put away a shot for the visitors from Wisconsin.

"I'm disappointed that we weren't able to get the result we needed," first-year Red Wolves coach Jimmy Obleda said. "It wasn't for lack of opportunities, to be honest. We were limited in our substitutions and the roster because of injuries and illness and stuff, and we still created some good chances.

"So now we just finish as strong as we can, and we start looking for the future and start building for 2021."

The Red Wolves will complete their schedule on the road, with the next game listed next Saturday against the Richmond Kickers in Virginia. There's also a postponed game against Orlando City B that could be made up, contingent on if Chattanooga has a shot at making the postseason with a positive result.

The postseason field was reduced from four teams to two this year with USL League One's schedule delayed and altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning the Oct. 30 title game is the lone playoff match. With 32 points, South Carolina's Greenville Triumph SC already locked up one spot and home-field advantage.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenley3.

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