By Carey Phillips
Cris Chavez scored twice in the second half as Franklin handed Smoky Mountain its first Mountain Six Conference soccer loss of the season 2-1 Oct. 14 at Carr Hooper Stadium/Babe Howell Field.
“I felt like we were prepared for the game,” Coach Stephen Brown said. “We put our homework in and got scouting reports. We knew what they had, but we just didn’t execute. Maybe that’s on me. Maybe I didn’t make adjustments like I should have.”
The Mustangs led 1-0 at intermission after what Brown felt was a strange first half.
“I felt we got outplayed and outhustled in the first half, but we should have been up 6-0,” he said. “We had six or seven pretty good chances in the first half even not playing to our capability. In the second half, they came out and made us pay for it even though I felt we played better in the second half.”
Chavez scored 4:31 into the second half for a 1-1 tie.
“We really keyed in on him, but two times we didn’t and he made us pay for it,” Brown said. “This was a through ball that went between our defenders. Chavez was able to collect it and shoot from about 8 yards out.”
Chavez put the Panthers up 2-1 with a shot from 35 yards out at the 61:51 mark.
“On their second goal, we got caught out of position,” Brown said. “He shot a floater over our goalkeeper’s head.”
Caleb Handy scored SM’s goal at the 30:01 mark with an assist from Dawson Karup.
“Dawson made a nice through pass to Caleb, who slid in behind them and finished it nicely,” Brown said.
The Mustangs had an 18-13 advantage in shots. SM’s Zeb Sink made three saves, and Franklin’s Isaac Jennings had 10.
“I felt we played better in the second half, but we got scored on twice,” Brown said. “It was kind of a weird game.”
The Mustang JVs are 11-2 after a 3-0 win. Skyler Sutton scored all three goals.
“Skyler is really producing lately,” Coach Jonathan Parsons said. “He made sure he showed up for this game.”
Jose Ramos and Sean Martinez had assists.
SM took 13 shots, and the Panthers had four. Carson Seagraves and Nathan Porter both made one save.
“We were looking forward to this game because we lost at Franklin earlier this year,” Parsons said. “We wanted to see where we are at this point in the season.”