The relaunch season of the Chattanooga FC Women’s team saw some of the largest crowds to watch women’s soccer in Chattanooga. Excitement began to accelerate in January, when the club announced a return to the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) which is the largest women’s league in the world.
That same night, the club debuted the remake of the CFC crest in sky blue to give the team its own identity while staying true to the CFC brand everyone knows. Both decisions, as well as a revamped gameday experience, were heavily influenced by the all-volunteer Women’s Advisory Council. This group advised the Front Office on all matters related to relaunching the team.
The team advanced to the WPSL Southeast conference semifinal where it fell to Tennessee Force FC 3-1 in Knoxville. Despite its 1-6-1 record, the team exited the summer with a sense of optimism after what Coach Randy Douglas called a ‘competitive’ first season together.
Chattanooga FC was without a women’s team since 2018, when CFC went undefeated and won the Southeast conference in the Women’s Premier Soccer League. The revival of the program brought excitement among the Chattanooga community.
Furthering the culture-building, the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute partnered with Chattanooga FC this season. The non-profit organization provided career exploration meetings for the team, featuring board members and women in leadership positions from the Chattanooga area and hosted their quarterly gathering at the June 15 match at Finley Stadium.
While the excitement swelled around the return of the women’s team, Chattanooga FC players had a short time to practice together before playing their first game against Nashville Rhythm FC in May. It would be a lopsided result to the eventual national semifinalists.
However, this relaunch was always going to be about more than results on the field. And the Chattanooga FC faithful, The Chattahooligans, made sure the women knew that upon arriving for their first match in Nashville.
The teams’ resilience was perhaps best shown in their road match at Tennessee Force FC in Knoxville. Goalkeeper Caroline Johnson saved shot after shot and the midfield attack, led by Gaines and Aguilar, consistently put pressure on the Tennessee Force defense. However a late goal from Tennessee Force, chipped in just feet from the goal line, sunk the game 0-1 for CFC in the final minutes.