North Carolina FC failed to carry on the momentum it gained from last weekend’s big 4-1 win, falling 3-1 on the road to Chattanooga Red Wolves SC on Saturday, Sept. 18.
After neither team was able to generate a shot on target in the first 45, the floodgates opened in the second half as the two sides combined for four goals in 18 minutes.
NCFC’s 15-year-old goalkeeper Nicholas Holliday was called into action right at the start of the second half, a clear sign of the Red Wolves onslaught that was about to commence.
A ball over the top found Chattanooga’s Ricardo Ruiz inside the box, but Holliday came off his line quickly to close the angle and block the shot. The rebound went to the right of Holliday’s goal and Ronaldo Pineda let fly at the near post. Holliday recovered quickly from his first save and made an excellent diving save to deflect the ball out for a corner.
While Holliday managed to hold off the Red Wolves’ initial second-half barrage, the hosts broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute with the help of Jonathan Ricketts. Chattanooga didn’t rest on their laurels however and doubled the advantage just six minutes later with a goal from super sub supreme Juan Galindrez.
Across the three games between NCFC and Chattanooga this season, Galindrez has come off the bench and scored in each, bagging four total goals.
NCFC pulled one back via a super sub of its own as Luis Arriaga made it 2-1 in the 69th minute, but Chattanooga restored its two-goal advantage just one minute later.
Playing against one of the teams battling for the top spot in the USL League One table, NCFC was solid in the first half, but the Red Wolves came out of the break strong and never took their foot off the gas.
The club’s newest recruit, Daniel Steedman, got the first start of his NCFC career against Chattanooga. Steedman joined NCFC on Aug. 27, inking a deal for the remainder of the 2021 season. Prior to the Chattanooga game, Steedman made two appearances off the bench.
Playing as one of NCFC’s three central midfielders, Steedman operated as the No. 8 sitting in front of Peter Pearson, but behind Jay Tee Kamara. Across the 90, Steedman maintained a 80.6% pass accuracy and picked up a yellow card in the 25th minute. Overall a decent, but unspectacular first start.
NCFC will have a chance to bounce back from the loss on Sunday, Sept. 26 as it hosts North Texas SC at WakeMed Soccer Park.