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CAK threepeat state soccer hopes fall flat versus ND

CHATTANOOGA — Unusual post-game descriptions outlined Christian Academy of Knoxville's play in Saturday afternoon's TSSAA Class A/AA Girls Soccer state title game.

Phrases such as “retaliating instead of initiating,” “weren't completely on our toes,” “didn't get very lucky,” “flat footed,” “revenge” and “more heart” were negative reactions from Lady Warriors' players and coach after a 1-0 loss versus Chattanooga Notre Dame Nov. 6 at Girls Preparatory School.

Failing in its bid for a third consecutive state title, CAK ends 2010 with a 17-5-3 record.

Dominating most of the contest and ending with a 16-7 edge in shots, the ND Lady Irish (12-7-3) broke a scoreless tie with 17:10 left in the game. A crossing pass from the right side was headed into the goal from about five yards out.

“I think that we were more retaliating instead of initiating,” said forward Kayce Campbell, one of three CAK seniors along with starting goalkeeper Sally Jernigan and starting midfielder Chelsea Cates. “We weren't completely on our toes for it.

“But I know all the girls played their hearts out today.”

Jernigan said her girls “just didn't get very lucky. Our team, we played our hearts out. I think it could have gone either way.”

CAK head coach Ried Estus said, “They just outplayed us ... they played with high energy, they kept their feet moving and they were forcing things to happen. And we were a little more flat footed responding to what was happening in front of us.”

Paige Hoffman, Lady Warriors starting junior midfielder, touched on Notre Dame's incentive after CAK defeated the Lady Irish, 2-1, in last season's state title game. “I think, personally, they came out with revenge, wanting to beat us from last year,” she said. “And they showed a lot more heart than we did. We let them take it from us.

“We just didn't have it today.”

A majority of the first half was played on ND’s offensive end.

However, CAK's best scoring chance of the game came after Hoffman's free kick (25 yards, 45-degree angle) barely sailed wide with 18:48 left in the half.

Cates, dealing with back injury issues the entire season, re-injured her back in the second half and did not return.

Estus spoke highly of his three seniors.

“Chelsea Cates, who would run through a brick wall playing with what she’s played with this year with that back injury,” he said.

“Kacye Campbell, she’s had a nose for the goal,” Estus added. “A great team leader.”

Jernigan, who missed around one month of action to begin the season following a bicep injury, “came back and had a good year,” Estus said.

Overall, despite Saturday’s disappointment, “It’s hard for me to look at these kids and say it’s a disappointing year,” Estus said.


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