First loss for Decatur FC in franchise history against Knoxville 865 Alliance



Decatur FC conceded its first goal and suffered its first loss in franchise history against Knoxville 865 Alliance 2-1 on Saturday night at Decatur High School.

Decatur had yet to concede a goal this season, but they allowed two in the first half of Saturday’s game and could not fully recover despite a strong second-half push from the hosts. 

“[The team is] disappointed to lose, like you would be, but again, we played some good soccer,” Decatur FC coach Campbell Chapman said. “We kept playing the same way but to give a team a two-goal head start against the run of play knocked the stuffing out of us a little bit. But we kept pressing away and we thought if we could get one early in the second half, which we did, that we might get something out of the game, but as you can see, they were defending something tough and they got plenty of bodies back. So we created some chances, their goalkeeper made some good saves. All in all though, disappointing not to be unbeaten anymore.” 

The goals came early in the first half. The game was fairly balanced as both teams gave and conceded chances. Knoxville’s break came on a corner kick in the tenth minute as the ball was served up into the box from the right side and headed in by Alliance’s Maddie Eskin. Mere minutes later, Knoxville player Mackenzie Howard made a run up the right side of the field and crossed the ball past goalkeeper Kaitlin Sinkler. And just like that, Decatur FC found itself in a two-goal hole early in the game.

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Decatur FC wasn’t going down without a fight, though. The team pressed for the rest of the half, knocking on the door, and with 36 minutes to go in the second half, Becky Contreras knocked the ball past Knoxville goaltender Ally Zazzara for Decatur’s first goal of the game. 

“[After the conceded goals] We just said, we just gonna have to change it up a little bit, play a little bit direct,” Chapman said. “We changed the formation to 3-5-2, so gave Sarah [Greiner] and Becky [Contreras] two attackers down the middle to contend with and it caused some problems, and then we got the goal.”

After that, the team found their rhythm, with two more solid chances from Greiner and May  El-Shami coming mere minutes later. Decatur’s passes connected more often, and the team moved more synchronously than they had in the first half. 

But it wasn’t enough. Despite a desperate push from Decatur throughout the second half, they couldn’t find one more goal, and they fell for their first loss of the season.

Analysis

It isn’t reasonable to expect a team to go an entire season without scoring a goal, but to give up your first two so early in the game boded poorly for Decatur’s chances on this warm Saturday night. The team was also without starting goaltender Jaddah Foos, who is home in Maryland undergoing a dental procedure. And despite good pushback from Decatur FC, scoring goals in soccer is difficult, and Knoxville shut it down repeatedly. Losses will happen. What remains to be seen is how they bounce back from it. 

Next Match

Decatur FC plays again at home on Fri., June 21 vs. Tormenta FC (Tickets). South Georgia Tormenta FC is based in Statesboro, GA, and was founded in 2015.





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