It was the much-anticipated match between the top two ranked soccer teams in the state Wednesday as host and No.1 McCallie took on No.2 Father Ryan in a key D-II AA match.
In a well-played, fast-paced chess match on grass as talented players from both sides countered the others’ moves and battled to a 1-1 draw after 80 minutes.
Ryan (7-0-1) came out the aggressor and put a marker on the scoreboard first and led 1-0 at intermission, but McCallie (5-0-3) scored in the 69th minute for the tie.
“Our coaches and players looked forward to this match all week and players from both sides played great,” said McCallie coach Chris Cushenberry.
Ryan’s goal came as senior Kyle Hellman took the ball at midfield and split two Blue Tornado defenders and put a shot past McCallie goalkeeper Emerson Brock in the left corner for the lead in the 25th.
McCallie took over in the second half and a Martin pass to Will McGregor who sent the ball in the middle to senior All-American Drew Viscomi who the put the ball past senior goalkeeper Gavin Woling for the tie.
“Will did his usual great job of setting me up for the goal with his pass so his assist is really bigger than my goal,” said Viscomi who will play for Northwestern in the fall.
“We made some adjustments at halftime as far as to keep pressing and 1-2 touch passes and we always try to remember our season motto “our best s good enough.”
Ryan coach stated, “We started strong and were able to get that first goal and on defense we were able to clear out a lot of balls, but McCallie had us on our heals most of the second half and evened the match late.”
“Overall, I would say that time of possession and playing in the opponents end of the field was about even for the 80 minutes.”
First Half: Ryan out shot McCallie 5-2 in the first 40 minutes and Kyle Hellman took advantage of a McCalie defensive breakdown to score at the 25 minute mark …
Second Half: McCallie took control and had a ball in front of the goal in the 52 nd minute off a free kick but a Ryan defender was able to clear the ball … A Philip Martin pass in the middle to Will McGregor produced the McCallie goal as he sent the ball to a waiting Drew Viscomi who found the back of the next on the right side … Ryan did have a header off a corner kick in the 60th minute but the shot was wide.
Lou Gehrig and Emerson Brock: In the 1920’s future baseball hall of famer Lou Gehrig was a second string first baseman for the New York Yankees, but earned the starting spot in the lineup June 2, 1925 when a slumping Wally Pipp was removed from the starting lineup … Gehrig played in 2,130 straight game at first for the Yanks … Fast forward to the fall of 2011 and McCallie sixth grade starting goalkeeper was injured and center midfielder Emerson Brock volunteered to give it a try in the nets and he has been the GK for the last seven years and a varsity starter since his sophomore year.
“I am an instinctive type person and learn as a I go and have found over the past seven years I enjoy having my teammates playing in front of me and being able to communicate from the back,” said Brock who will play college soccer at NCAA D-III Berry College (Rome, Ga.) in the fall.
”The school and soccer program seem to be a good fit for me and the school is less than two hours from home which us good.”
Lookout Mountain Rec League Grads: Seven McCallie players learned the sport in the Lookout Mountain Soccer Rec League and are key parts of the nationally-ranked Blue Tornado squad – seniors Emerson Brock Drew Viscomi, Philip Martin, juniors Garrison Brock and Aiden Foley and sophomore Stone Roebuck and Ryan Rogers
McCallie 1, Father Ryan 1
Ryan 1 – 0 – 1
McC 0 – 1 – 1
Saves: Emerson Brock (McC) 4. Gavin Wolking (Ryan) 1
Corner Kicks: McCallie, 4-1
Fouls: McCallie, 15-12
Free Kicks: Ryan, 17-14
Hand Ball: 1-1
Yellow Cards: McCallie (2) Ryan 1