MURFREESBORO – After two consecutive years of losing to Christ Presbyterian Academy 1-0 in the Class A/AA state title match, Christian Academy of Knoxville had finally had enough.
The Warriors flipped the script on CPA at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex Friday afternoon, beating the Lions 2-1 to claim the A/AA state championship.
“They capitalized on the mistakes that we made and we didn’t capitalize on theirs,” CPA coach Tom Gerlach said.
It was a bittersweet loss for Gerlach, who was the coach at CAK before coming to the Lions last year and lost to his former assistant coach Friday, CAK coach Jon Day.
“Jon’s one of my best friends, Gerlach said. “He’s been wanting it so bad and he’s paid his dues. I couldn’t be more happy for him.”
The game remained scoreless through the first half, but CAK broke it open in the 59th minute when freshman Sam Klauer scored on a wide-open net thanks for a great assist from senior forward Anthony Buzzeo.
Just 11 minutes later, senior Jon Creel capped off his final game in a Warrior uniform by beating two Lions defenders before striking across his body to beat the CPA keeper as well.
“Matt Zacyzk made a great move, I got it from him, saw an opening, hit it with my left and it went in,” Creel said. “It was the best feeling in the world.”
The Lions made a late push and found some success when senior Chip Omer chested in as pass from Spencer Hagan, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the two-goal deficit.
“This is a great rivalry,” Day said. “It’s going to be more than just playing soccer, it’s going to be a dogfight.”