Luke Winter came out of the locker room after halftime looking like he was in a Three Stooges episode and Moe had just conked him on the head with a blunt instrument.
Winter, a Chattanooga Football Club forward, had been cut on the head in a first-half collision Saturday night, and much of his head was covered by bandages. It clearly didn't affect his play.
In the 58th minute of a scoreless game against the Knoxville Force, Winter headed in a cross by Chris Ochieng for what proved to be the deciding goal in a 2-0 win in front of an announced crowd of 2,269 on "Pink Out" night at Finley Stadium.
"The trainer said I should wrap up every game," Winter joked. "The ball from Chris was straight-up perfect, and I just had to make sure I kept my composure and put it in the back of the net."
Two minutes later, after Force goalkeeper Rumwald Le Guevel made a foot save on a hard shot by Ochieng, Michael Brooks was there for the putback, giving CFC a decisive 2-0 advantage in the National Premier Soccer League Southeast game.
Le Guevel made a great save on Ochieng's shot, but there was nothing to be done about Brooks'. It was being in the right place at the right time, he said.
"Chris did all the work there. I was just waiting for it," Brooks said.
Le Guevel kept the game from being a blowout. Neither side was in peak form for most of the first half, but CFC (5-1-1) got things going late and two diving saves kept the game scoreless. Le Guevel added a couple more in the second to keep the Force (1-3-3) close, but CFC did enough for the win.
"It was like 'nearlys' in the first half," Winter said of CFC's scoring chances, "and it was nice to get a couple of quick goals in the second half. I think we deserved it."
CFC wore pink jerseys and pink socks, and many of the fans were wearing a little or a lot of pin, for the "Pink Out." CFC, in conjunction with Memorial Health Care System and the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center, was raising awareness and money for the fight against breast cancer.
The players' one-game-only jerseys were sold via silent auction, with the money going to the Locher center.
CFC hosts the Gulfcoast Texans, the only NPSL team to beat it this season, next Saturday.
Contact John Frierson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MocsBeat.
John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...