Blue Ridge Blowout

Walker County Messenger - - Sports -

For the first time since the 2013 sea­son, Chat­tanooga FC failed to ad­vance out of the first round of the Na­tional Premier Soc­cer League play­offs, drop­ping a heart­break­ing 2-1 de­ci­sion In­ter Nashville FC in the post­sea­son opener on July 12.

How­ever, the boys in blue weren’t about to let their sea­son end with a loss.

Fac­ing Asheville City (N.C.) Soc­cer Club in the in­au­gu­ral Blue Ridge Derby this past Wed­nes­day, Chat­tanooga FC de­fended the home turf with one of the club’s most dom­i­nat­ing per­for­mances in team his­tory.

Sa­muel Goni scored three straight goals in the first half, John Car­rier found the net twice and CFC blasted Asheville City, 9-0, in front of sev­eral thou­sand ju­bi­lant sup­port­ers at Fort Fin­ley.

The Blue Ridge Derby match, which was an­nounced in early July,

will be an annual match that will ro­tate be­tween the two ci­ties. Asheville City plays in the East Di­vi­sion of the NPSL’s South­east Con­fer­ence, while Chat­tanooga FC com­petes in the West Di­vi­sion.

Af­ter a cou­ple of solid scor­ing chances - and out­stand­ing saves - on both sides, Chat­tanooga FC got the first goal of the match as Car­rier redi­rected a cross­ing pass from Cameron Woodfin into the back of the net in the 17th minute.

How­ever, it was the night’s sec­ond goal that would swing the mo­men­tum the way of the home team for good.

In the 24th minute, Chat­tanooga FC vet­eran Leo DeSmedt caught

Asheville City keeper Dako­tah Bain­ter too far off his line and launched a shot from mid­field. Bain­ter tried to re­cover, but the ball got over his head and found the top right cor­ner of the net for the im­prob­a­ble tally.

From there, it was all CFC.

Sa­muel Goni, another vet­eran who has bat­tled in­juries all sea­son, got into the act with a hat trick in a span of just over 12 min­utes. The first two goals came on nifty as­sists from Luke Win­ter, while Goni scored his third goal just sec­onds into the an­nounced one minute of ex­tra time be­fore the half­time whis­tle.

Asheville City re­placed Bain­ter with Jar­rett Payne to be­gin the sec­ond half, but it did noth­ing to stem the


Car­rier fired a rocket from in­side the box to make it 6-0 in the 52nd minute and a cor­ner kick from Caleb Cole found the head of Dino Jones to make it 7-0. In the 76th minute, for­mer Cal­houn High School and cur­rent Shorter Uni­ver­sity stand­out Dar­win Lom knocked in the eighth goal and another fan fa­vorite, Jose “Zeca” Fer­raz rounded out the scor­ing late.

Chat­tanooga FC play­ers later cel­e­brated with the Chat­ta­hooli­gans and the rest of the fans be­fore hoist­ing the Blue Ridge Derby tro­phy, a beer keg that has been painted up with team lo­gos and names of each team’s home bar, Chat­tanooga Brew­ery and Asheville’s Hi-Wire Brew­ery.

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