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Chattanooga FC Women secures crucial win in Birmingham

Chattanooga FC Women applauds the fans

Chattanooga FC Women notched its first win of the 2024 WPSL season Saturday evening away to FC Birmingham at Lawson Field Stadium. The Sky Blues put in a dominant display from beginning to end in a 4-1 victory over Birmingham thanks to four different goalscorers.

CFCW completely dictated play in the first half and created numerous chances, however the team had to be patient as the breakthrough did not come until first-half stoppage time.

Captain Anna Land delivered a pinpoint cross to the back post and CFC Academy product Brady Livingston finished superbly on the half-volley.

After a cagey opening half hour of the second half, the match exploded into life in the final quarter hour. Janne Van Brummelen found Ava VanDoren with a wonderfully-weighted, line-breaking long ball and VanDoren sent in an unstoppable shot to the bottom corner.

The hosts found a way back into the match moments later, finishing from a corner kick. However, it did not take long for CFC to regain its two-goal cushion. Van Brummelen curled in a free-kick from around 20 yards out that proved too hard for Birmingham keeper Katie Irving to save and the ball trickled into the bottom corner.

The Sky Blues put the result beyond doubt when VanDoren turned provider and sent in a sumptuous cross for forward Juliette Lucas to attack and head in from close range.

The result sees CFC leapfrog Birmingham into fifth place in the Southeast Conference standings.

Chattanooga FC Women will now look forward to a home match at Finley Stadium against UFA Gunners on Sunday, June 16th at 7:00 p.m. ET. Tickets are on sale here.

Coach's Corner

Head Coach Tom Halsall gave his reaction after the victory:

"I'm buzzing with the result," said Halsall. "So, so happy with it. After the first two games, the players have had a really good attitude in training. They've listened and have been open-minded and we changed a few things this week and it worked. I felt we were the better team for the majority of the game. We had a bit of a slow start, we were taking control of the game, but we weren't finishing, so we made a few changes and brought a few Academy players on and we got a goal. That was really encouraging. I personally wasn't happy at half-time, so I said what needed to be said in order to try and get a response and we got a response in the second half. we pushed on, although we did concede, but we got three goals in quick succession to finish the game off. I'm over the moon, honestly. I'm happy for the team because they deserved it."

On significance of Academy players making an impact on the first team:

"Brady Livingston came into the game and did not look out of place at all, along with the other Academy players (Addie Chapman and Brooke Bolton). Brady pressed really hard, she persevered and got in the right areas at the right time and she deserved her goal. It was a proud moment for Juan and I because that's what we're about as a club. We promote Academy players through the system and give them opportunities. That goal was a huge moment for her. We desperately needed that goal. I'm really proud of her and the rest of the Academy players, because they changed the game."

On the action-packed final ten minutes of the match:

"It was little stressful when it went to 2-1 with seven minutes to go. They were putting us under a lot of pressure and they were coming at us and they gained a bit of momentum. Then it came down to individual quality. 'J' [Janne] getting the free-kick and curling an absolute beauty up and over the wall and into the bottom corner—that relieved pressure. We went up the other end again and Juliette [Lucas] got a phenomenal header. I'm just really happy for them, because I think those players needed a bit of a lift personally. For them to get those individual goals and get on the scoresheet is really encouraging. Ava VanDoren came on at the end of the first half and also changed the game. She got an assist and a great goal into the top corner. Ava [VanDoren] really deserves a mention because she was outstanding. A lot of players came in tonight and have made our coaching decisions for the next game extremely difficult. It's a very good night. We're all very, very happy and now we use it as momentum to kick on and continue this winning vibe, because it's a great feeling to have."

Box Score:

FC Birmingham (1W-3L-0D, 3 pts.) - Chattanooga FC Women  (1W-2L-0D, 3 pts.)

Lawson Field Stadium | Irondale, Ala. 

Final Score:

FCB: 1

CFC: 4

Scoring Summary:

45'+3: Brady Livingston - CFC

80': Ava VanDoren - CFC

82': Missy Tammi - FCB

88': Janne Van Brummelen - CFC

89': Juliette Lucas - CFC


FCB starters: Katie Irving, Bailee Washington, Mia Teare, Ali Castaneda, Grace Studinka, Shea Eichelberger, Mackenzie Bridgwaters, Juliet Williams, Briana Morris, Jesse Mendel, Saylor Richard

Substitutes: Ana Gonzalez, Kyilan Thomas, Lily Burford, Meghan Jones, Missy Tammi, Sarah Gillroy, Samantha Hadden

Head Coach: Jason Neumann

CFC starters: Lilly Kate Varino, Anna Land (C), Abbey Marak, Hannah Opie, Billie Jean Davies, Kaitlyn Gauze, Janne Van Brummelen, Betha Pucek, Ciara Casamento, Eleonora Franco, Juliette Lucas

Substitutes: Brooke Alvarez, Mary Beth Skelton, Ava VanDoren, Sage Samelli, Brooke Bolton, Addie Chapman, Annalisa Vincent, Brady Livingston

Head Coach: Tom Halsall