CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Chattanooga FC women’s team has gone from worst to first, after winning just one game last season. This week, the ladies in blue host the first round of playoffs here in Chattanooga as the Southeast Conference champions.
This time last year, Fort Finley stood quiet, with only hope for a better season lingering in the seats.
Now, cheers for the Southeast Conference champions echo between Chestnut Street and the First Tennessee Pavilion as the Chattanooga FC women prepare for their first playoff appearance, and it will be right here at home.
“Our one word is fight,” goal keeper Cosette Morche said. “And it’s something that means a lot to us, it just brings us together as a family.”
And fight they have. Going from just one win in 2017 to just one loss in 2018, Coach Erin Ridley says it’s all about the mindset.
“It’s just people that are willing to be part of something bigger than themselves,” Ridley said. “We talk a lot about player development here. We talk a lot about passion and a lot about pride. And those things all come together in a really amazing way to represent this city.”
This year’s squad hails from all over the world, but at the Fort, they’re all united in blue.
“Especially the ones that live together, they are each other’s family here, like a home away from home,” Soddy Daisy native and CFC forward Summer Lanter said. “We try to really welcome in everyone, from all different parts, wherever they’re coming from and just accept people for who they are and love on them.”
The ladies host that first ever South Region playoff game in front of Chattanooga and its hooligans Friday.
“It’s everything,” Coach Ridley said, when asked about the Chattahooligans’ presence. “It’s a different environment when we play and they’re supporting us. They’ve been on the road with us. They’ve been home. It gives us a true home field advantage.”
The CFC ladies host Pensacola, the Gulf South Conference champions, Friday at 7:30 p.m. for the first round of playoffs.