McCallie Wins In Shutout Over Knox Catholic Soccer

Blue Tornado Defeats Irish, 3-0

  • Sunday, April 14, 2024
  • Alex McElyea

For several years the rivalry between McCallie and Knoxville Catholic soccer has been a prime source of both competition and entertainment. Both schools take this game past the point of serious. A certain level of pride and accomplishment lives inside the winner of this game. On Saturday evening they met up once more at McCallie’s home field to battle it out and it did not disappoint. McCallie reigned victorious of Knoxville Catholic with a final score of 3-0.

McCallie came into the game ranked third in the state of Tennessee after an impressive beginning of their season which gave them a record of 7-0-1. They beat several high level schools including Brentwood who have been ranked first in the state. Knoxville Catholic had an overall record of 9-1-1 heading into this game and were ranked first in their district. If anyone was going to give McCallie a run for their money it would be Knoxville Catholic.

Both McCallie lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with a diamond midfield. This means there would be one central midfielder to hold back on defense and distribute another to create attacking opportunities. Knoxville showed a possible 4-3-3 at first but changed it quickly to match up with McCallie. McCallie used their two strikers and their free roaming central attacking midfielder to create most of their scoring opportunities. Knoxville Catholic used their strikers to create counter attacking chances to hopefully catch the defense off guard.

The game, like normal fashion, started out extremely physical. Both teams had a lot on the line and a lot to prove. With McCallie having the size advantage, there was not much that Knoxville Catholic could do to keep the ball. After about twenty minutes of play, McCallie seemed the most likely to score first. They held most of the possession and finally were able to find the back of the net. The defense sent a ball over to Dylan Capazario who first time headed it to the feet of Richard Todd. Todd, with great composure and quick thinking managed to beat the defender and the keeper to pass it in the goal.

The second goal came from the same play as before. The size of McCallie proved to be a menace for Knoxville Catholic’s defense. Another ball was sent from the defense to the forwards. This time Gordan Lewis put in the header after just having been moved up top. His header found Capazario and he placed it well to put them up by two. McCallie entered halftime with a braced lead and plenty of momentum.

The second half kicked off and McCallie was ready for it. Not even three minutes into the half and they scored again. This time from freshman winger Brooks Hilger. McCallie used heavy pressure to maintain possession and create chances around the box. This left Knoxville Catholic tired and constantly on the run. Hilger pressed form the goal kick and forced a mistake from the defender. After taking the ball it was just him and the keeper. Hilger placed it perfectly into the bottom corner and gave them their 3-0 lead.

From that point on it there was nothing Knoxville Catholic could do to win. They fought all the way until the end trying to find some sort of chance, but it never went their way. Both teams were equally skilled and well coached, however, McCallie had the upper hand from the start. They were bigger and more physical to make keep the ball and control the game. It really was an impressive performance. McCallie’s head coach, Chris Cushenbery, now in his tenth year of coaching at the school, spoke about what the game meant to him and his team. As well as his hopes for them in the future.

“Catholic has had a great season. I think they only had one loss coming into today. They beat Farragut 3-0, they beat CCS 3-0. That’s a team we have a ton of respect for. We took them really seriously. I was pleased and I thought we controlled the game. We possessed well, we got in behind. The things we have been working on, we did today, and it showed up. So I was super pleased with that result. Wewe do have great players. It is fun to work with so many great hard working kids who are good people and great students.” He also stated, “This is my tenth season, and I am just always thankful for the kids we have in the program. Some of the young guys out there played really well and created some opportunities. I am excited about the past, the present, and the future.”

Coach Cushenbery and his team feel like it has been too long since they have won a championship and that needs to change this year. They think they have the team to do it and it showed against Knoxville Catholic.

Game Summary

Knoxville Catholic               0          0          --0

McCallie                                2          1          --3

Goal Scorers:

McCallie- Richard Todd, Dylan Capazario, Brooks Hilger.

Assists:

McCallie- Dylan Capazario, Gordon Lewis.

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