KNOXVILLE — A decisive Christian Academy of Knoxville boys soccer victory was accomplished with class and sportsmanship, a point the losing coach wanted to note.
Looking to build upon its Division II-A East Region district championship in the regular season (6-0), CAK shook off a slow start offensively to claim a 5-2 home win versus Collegedale Academy (2-4-2) to open East Region post-season play Thursday, May 5.
While a hat-trick (three goals) from senior Jack Britton highlighted things statistically, Eagles head coach Obadiah Groft was most impressed with how the Warriors handled themselves. “I appreciate when a talented team plays with sportsmanship and class,” Groft said. “They let their skill win the game, not any cheapness or dirty plays. .... They’re organized, they’re respectful — just class all the way around.”
While praising Britton for his three goals, “there were some great assists out of all of that, too,” CAK head coach Bobby Deets said.
Taking more than 31 minutes to break through and score, “I think some nerves played into the start,” the CAK coach added.
Warriors senior Chase Stokely tallied the game’s first goal, with 8:42 left in the first half. His shot deflected off a Collegedale defender in front of the net.
About two-and-a-half minutes later, Christian Academy (11-5 starting the week) went up 2-0 on Britton’s well-place 30-yard shot from the right side, beating the goalkeeper to his left.
The lead grew to 3-0 after Stokely’s crossing pass found Britton, who tapped home the goal. After the Eagles scored at the 36:15 mark of the second half, Britton displayed good ball control in charging the net and making it 4-1 with 32:24 remaining.
The final Warriors goal came from center-midfielder Will Franks, who tallied from the right side, at a sharp angle from about 20 yards out, at the 24:30 mark. “Will Franks got his first goal this year,” Deets said. “I’m proud of him.”
CAK goalkeeper Lane Roberts, a senior, made a handful of good decisions on charging out to stop potential Collegedale goals. “A solid player — first-year keeper,” Deets said of Roberts.
Beginning the week with an 11-5 overall record, the Warriors hosted a region semifinal Tuesday, May 10 (after deadline).