Georgia Beats Tennessee, 2-1, In Classic Soccer On Ruiz Header

Loss Snaps Volunteer State's Four-Game Winning Streak In Series

Saturday, June 7, 2014 - by Scott Herpst

Former Murray County standout Jose Ruiz connected on a header in the 79th minute for the game-winner as Team Georgia edged Team Tennessee, 2-1, in the 11th Tennessee-Georgia Boys' All-Star Soccer Classic at Chattanooga's Finley Stadium on Friday afternoon.

Ruiz's goal completed a second-half comeback for the Peach State stars, who went into the locker room trailing 1-0, despite having several good scoring chances.

"There is quality talent all around on both sides, but in all-star games, you're never really sure how the talent will come together," said Team Georgia head coach Matt Rice (Calhoun). However, our guys really started putting it together, really from the very first practice we had and I think that really showed out here today."

After a feeling-out process for both sides, Tennessee struck first in the 19th minute as the speedy Anfernee Avila (Cleveland) gathered up a long punt by keeper Jonathan Crossman (ChattanoogaChristian), beat a defender near the top of the box and caught Georgia
keeper Raul Moreno (Calhoun) out of position before sliding an easy shot into the back of the net.

Georgia had three excellent scoring opportunities in the first half. Two came in the 23rd minute, but Crossman knocked down a header by Ruiz before recovering to stop a hard shot from Pedro Garcia (Coahulla Creek).

Crossman was equal to the task again in the 35th minute, exchanging a bloody nose for a diving knockdown of a Ruiz blast from point-blank range. A follow-up shot was smothered in the box by Tennessee's defense to preserve the precarious lead.

Georgia came out with urgency to open the second half, peppering the Tennessee goal with multiple shots in the first three minutes before finally breaking through in the 48th minute.

Following a long run and a pass from Ruiz, Miguel Villa (Northwest) put a ball through the box right on the foot of Garcia, who one-timed it past new Tennessee keeper Adam Pickett (Signal Mountain).

Both teams missed golden chances to take the lead over the next 20 minutes of action. A save by Manuel Gonzalez (North Murray) on a free kick from 11 yards out kept the score tied and Pickett make a great leaping save on a shot in the 65th minute before seeing another shot
sail high two minutes later.

But with just over 10 minutes remaining in the match and a penalty-kick shootout looming, Ruiz, the Georgia Player of the Game, went to work.

After taking a long pass down the left side of the pitch, he made a move past a defender and fired on goal, only to see the ball carom off the bottom of the crossbar. Ruiz followed up with a header that also clanked off the crossbar, but with Pickett trying to scramble to his feet and Tennessee being unable to clear the ball out of danger, Ruiz's second header found its mark to put Georgia in front for good.

Making a late push, Tennessee had one final chance to score with just 15 seconds to play. But a shot by Tyler Robertson (Notre Dame) was pushed wide left just before the final whistle ended the contest.

"We made a few little changes at halftime," Rice explained. "We took some guys that had been playing defense in the first half and moved them up to the offensive half and it gave us a little spark. Then as it got later in the second half, and we knew we needed a goal to win, we put a couple of extra strikers in there in the midfield to give us a push and it worked."

Rice also credited his reserves for their work.

"We had a very deep bench," he added. "Everyone played at least half the game, but there wasn't any let-up when the new guys went in and I think that was a big difference."

Georgia outshot Tennessee, 14-9, on the day with Crossman and Moreno making four saves each. Crossman was later named as the Tennessee Player of the Game for his first-half shutout effort.

The win snapped a four-match winning streak for Tennessee, who still lead the all-time series, 8-2.

The Girls' All-Star Soccer Classic is tentatively scheduled for next Friday, June 13, at 4 p.m., prior to the home match for Chattanooga FC's women's team.

 


Lookouts Snap Losing Streak With 5-4 Win Over Generals At Jackson

Facing the first place Jackson Generals on the road was no easy task but the Chattanooga managed to rally for a 5-4 win Thursday evening. Both pitching staffs struggled with their control with 15 total walks in the game. The win moved the Lookouts to a game under .500 at 10-11. Despite falling behind in the fifth inning, the Lookouts rallied in the top of the sixth, putting ... (click for more)

Former Chattanooga Lookout, Corey Seager, Turns 23 Today

Before steadily hitting and fielding his way to the 2016 National League Rookie of the Year , Corey Seager was a blue-chip prospect for the Dodgers. In 2014, he played 38 games for the Chattanooga Lookouts.  Today (April 27th, Seager celebrates his 23rd birthday (yes, he's still that young), and he is well one his way to much success in Major League baseball. ... (click for more)

Body Of McCallie Student Jackson Standefer Recovered In Colorado River

The body of a McCallie School student who was swept away in a creek in the Grand Canyon was recovered on Friday. The Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center said it was notified by a commercial river trip that they located a body on the Colorado River at River Mile 152. Park rangers responded and recovered the body, which was transported to the rim by helicopter and ... (click for more)

Juan Lopez, 19, Seriously Injured In "Car Surfing" Accident

Juan Lopez, 19, was seriously injured in a "car surfing" accident in Whitfield County. The Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office responded on Thursday at approximately 9:34 p.m., to a serious injury incident in a subdivision off Cleveland Highway. Upon arriving on Beulah Drive, the responding officer found Miguel Gomez sitting in the middle of the road holding Mr. Lopez, who ... (click for more)

White Coat Syndrome And The Medical System - And Response (2)

Today I wish to share what I am feeling as a patient in our medical system. I am too old to put on airs at this point, and this is too pervasive of a problem for me to contain.   As I enter my AARP years, I am faced with so many medical encounters that evoke all kinds of uncomfortable feelings. I dread physician’s appointments riddled with government regulatory hypocrisy, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: County Commissioners Not Getting Bang For Their School Bucks

The Hamilton County School Board passed a balanced budget to present to the County Commission at a Special Called Meeting on Thursday night. They also attached a prioritized list of $24.5 million in critical needs for the County Commission to consider that will never see the light of day. The long and short of it is easy to see -- the County Commissioners have had enough. It ... (click for more)