The Christ Presbyterian Academy soccer team passed an important test in Thursday night’s home opener.
In an early-season battle between two traditional state powers, the two-time defending Class A/AA champion Lions emerged victorious, using a late-second-half goal to capture a 1-0 win over visiting Chattanooga Christian School and improve to 2-0 on the season.
“This brings so much confidence,” said senior Harrison Myers, whose 66th-minute goal proved to be the difference-maker. “It was a huge test, obviously, which is why both of us wanted to get this game on our schedule.
“It gives us a ton of confidence knowing that we can compete with a team we might see again in Murfreesboro later in the season.”
The Lions (2-0), coming off a comfortable 3-0 win over district foe Marshall County in Tuesday’s season opener, used a fast start to establish momentum early.
And while the Chargers (2-1), who won their first two matches by a combined 8-0 tally, countered a couple times late in the first half, CPA’s young and largely unproven back line answered the call down the stretch to preserve the clean sheet.
“We graduated three all-state players last year — our goalkeeper (Walter Hagan) and two defenders (Jake Brown and William Whitaker) — and we’re playing an eighth-grader (Sam Ellis) in goal,” CPA coach Tom Gerlach said. “Our back line is inexperienced, but I thought they really stepped up tonight.”
Myers, also a 2015 TSSCA All-State selection, finally managed to put his team in front around the 13-minute mark, ripping a shot from about 45 yards out — just over the outstretched arms of Chattanooga Christian goalkeeper Andrew Soucie, who was caught off his line.
“We didn’t really have anything else, so I just went ahead and gave it a go,” Myers said of the score — his second of the season. “I had a gut feeling about it and went with it.”
“(Myers) pulls that stuff off in practice all of the time,” Gerlach added. “He knew exactly what he was going to do, and to have that kind of panache to strike a ball like that in a game against a quality opponent, its shows you what kind of player he is.”
With the win, the Lions, who’ll take on defending Division II-AA champion Montgomery Bell Academy on Tuesday, have now strung together 15 straight wins over Class A/AA opponents, dating back to last season’s April 9 loss to District 12-A/AA rival Page.