CCS's Nick Russell tries to keep the ball away from CAK's Stevie Thompson. Staff Photo by Jake Daniels, Chattanooga Times Free Press
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — At some point today, the adrenaline might wear off for Chattanooga Christian defender Roy Anderson. Maybe he’ll feel the ankle that he shouldn’t be playing on, or any other assortment of injuries that have plagued him all year.
There was no pain, however, that is going to keep him from savoring Wednesday’s win.
Anderson and fellow senior Adam Ryan led a pointed effort at stopping the Christian Academy of Knoxville’s offensive attack, and the Chargers got two early goals and made it stand for a 2-1 victory, sending them back to the Class A/AA state-championship game.
The Chargers (17-3-2) will face Kingsbury (15-6-2), who defeated East Hamilton 4-3 in the other semifinal, in Friday’s championship game at 5:30 at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex.
CCS got a goal from Taylor Black 29 seconds into the game, and added a goal from Beau Simmons in taking a two-goal advantage at the half, but CAK (18-6-2) mounted an offensive attack and cut the lead in half on a rebound goal by Stevie Thompson less than two minutes into the second half.
Anderson had the job of stopping forward Ben Holt, and held the sophomore scoreless although he did assist Thompson’s goal.
“It was pretty fun playing mano-a-mano,” Anderson said. “For a while there, we let them dictate play and be the aggressor, but this team has a lot of heart and wasn’t going to lose.”
CCS coach Shawn Brower praised the play of the defense, including sophomore goalkeeper Cameron Anderson, who had eight big saves against the CAK attack.
“I thought he grew up some tonight,” Brower said. “I think the guys have more confidence in him than he has in himself, but he played very well tonight.”
The Chargers will now face an athletic Kingsbury team, with a state-title on the line again.
“This was a big win for us,” Brower said. “We jumped out early, and I don’t think that CAK knew what hit them, because they got better as the match went on. There were some moments that we had to hang on, but we did.
“I don’t know a lot about Kingsbury, but I do feel that the guys would be grossly disappointed to walk away with another runner-up trophy. The guys are very hungry to finish the job that they hoped to finish last year.”
* Kingsbury 4, East Hamilton 3: The Falcons got four goals from Giovanni Alvarado — including three in the second half — to erase a 2-1 East Hamilton halftime lead and advance to the A/AA state-title match.
East Hamilton had goals from Jaxon McClure and Daniel Duk in the first half, and added another on a free kick by Wes Owens late in the second half.
“We just had a bad second half,” East Hamilton coach John Millard said. “I felt like they came out with a lot of emotion, and we didn’t respond to that.
“I think after a while, it became youthful soccer against veteran soccer, but I thought it was good for us. We accomplished a lot in our second season and know what it’ll take to get back here.”