Neither team was able to penetrate the opponent’s goal, but Cleveland’s Blue Raiders were forced to withstand a 10-minute barrage of offensive pressure by the Red Raiders late in the match.
Although it was not a victory, Cleveland coach John Brose said he and his Raiders should be able to take some “positives” from the deadlock.
Neither team has a victory this season, which began at the first of the week ... but Baylor also does not have a loss. The Red Raiders had two scoreless ties, against McMinn County in their season opener Tuesday and Thursday’s match with Cleveland.
The Blue Raiders are 0-1-1 after two matches. Cleveland spotted Murfreesboro Siegel two quick goals and was soundly defeated on the road earlier in the week.
Cleveland and Baylor now move ahead with additional matches in this year’s Cleveland Classic.
Cleveland plays Chattanooga Notre Dame at 4 p.m. today at the Greater Cleveland Soccer Complex. The Irish won Thursday’s opening match, blanking Ooltewah, 3-0.
The Blue Raiders close out their Classic participation Saturday with a 3 p.m. collision against Beech High School at the Soccer Complex.
Baylor advances to play Blackman at 5:30 p.m. today at the Complex, and then will finish the Red Raiders’ Classic experience with a 9 a.m. match Saturday against powerful Maryville.
Other Classic matches:
Today: 6 p.m. — East Hamilton vs. Coffee County (Complex); 7:30 p.m. — Ooltewah vs. Beech (at Lee University) and McMinn County vs. Maryville (at McMinn County High School); 8 p.m. Soddy-Daisy vs. Franklin (at the Complex).
Saturday: 9 a.m. — Beech vs. East Hamilton (Cleveland Middle School) 9 a.m. — Coffee County vs. McMinn County (Lee University); 11 a.m. — Blackman vs. Soddy-Daisy (Complex); 11 a.m. — Ooltewah vs. Franklin (Cleveland Middle); 3 p.m. — Soddy-Daisy vs. Coffee County (Cleveland Middle); 5 p.m. Franklin vs. Maryville (Complex); 5 p.m. — Notre Dame vs. Blackman (Lee); and 7 p.m. — McMinn County vs. East Hamilton (Complex).
Perhaps the feature match of the Classic will be Saturday’s 5 p.m. meeting of Franklin and Maryville (two of the state’s top teams this season).
Coach Brose was disappointed his team could not pull out a victory Thursday, but he was also pleased with the Raiders’ effort.
“We fought hard,” the Cleveland coach told his team after the match. “One of our problems was that we couldn’t clear the ball out of the box (late in the match).”
The Baylor offense continually forced the ball to the Cleveland goal (late in the evening), with several corner kicks and free shots.
Goalkeepers Pierson Bunch (second period) and Graham Hartman (first period) teamed with their teammates to keep Baylor out of the scoring zone.
Brose was pleased with the defense, except for the fact the Raiders had problems clearing the ball from the danger area late. He praised the play of central defenders Elijah Thomas and Sterling Hines, and left-field defender Rob Cook.
“We organized ourselves well against a pretty good team,” Brose continued in assessing the match. “We just need to learn about a lot of positions.
“We’re pretty young and it’s still early in the season,” the Cleveland coach continued. “This was not a bad result, and we’re more concerned about getting better. This was a step up from Tuesday (the loss to Siegel).”
Despite the pressure Baylor put on Cleveland in the final minutes, the Raiders had a couple of shots on goal that could have provided a victory. Seth Goza and Javier Rico missed on those opportunities.
Notre Dame 3,
The Irish tallied goals in the first period from Blaise DeStafano and Baggio Card to move ahead of the Owls. Mark Konenig scored a third goal at the 16-minute mark of the second period to put the decision away.
Goalkeeper Johnny Hoofer got the shutout for Notre Dame, the Irish’s second win of the season. Notre Dame beat Bledsoe County earlier in the week.
Ooltewah, like Cleveland and Baylor in Thursday’s second match, could not put the ball in the net. The loss was the Owls’ first match of the year.