Published Jun 29, 2022
Written By:  Cassidy Hettesheimer
             South Region Contributor


Hattricks, braces, shutouts and last-gasp match winners-- the Southeast Conference had a bit of everything across its four matches this weekend.

Let’s give some superlatives to the must-know recent developments of Southeast Conference soccer:


Most dramatic win:

It looked as if TN Force FC and Chattanooga FC were about to finish their Sunday match with the first tie in the conference for the 2022 season. However, an 88th-minute goal from Maria Nelson off a cross from Maddie Eskin put the Force ahead to grab the full three points at home.


“We will take a win any way it looks,” Tom Hansford, TN Force FC’s general manager, said. “8-0 or 1-0, they both go in the same column.”


Hansford also said that he is proud of another shutout for the team. This win was the Force’s fourth shutout in six matches. With the exception of the team’s 5-3 loss versus the high-scoring Nashville Rhythm, the Force has only conceded one goal this season.


Highest-scoring game:

Alabama FC and North Alabama SC combined for seven goals on Friday as Alabama FC beat its in-state opponent, 6-1, to open the conference’s weekend of play on Friday, June 24. 

Alabama FC now totals 22 goals in seven matches with a record of 4-1-2. 

AFC’s Hailey Whitaker said that, because many of her team members have played together before-- either at the youth level for Birmingham United Soccer Association or at the WPSL level with Alabama FC-- the team and its offensive and defensive units have strong chemistry.


“A lot of our forwards play together,” Whitaker said. “A lot of our backs, we play together every summer … We were all good individually, and then just playing together, like every summer, it just kind of clicked at the end.”


Biggest goal tally:

Last season’s Southeast Conference leading goalscorer Peyton DePriest made a major jump in the WPSL’s goal-scoring list with her four-goal performance against Chattanooga FC on Friday, June 24. DePriest had a hatrack within the first twenty minutes of the match.

The match finished 6-0 in Nashville’s favor, with a goal from Molly Grant and a Chattanooga FC own goal. Yuki Watari also had two assists and “was a constant danger and creative force,” according to Nashville’s head coach, Scott Davidson.


“We controlled the game for large periods in possession,” Davidson said. “We moved the ball very well and created a number of chances.”


DePriest added to her weekend tally with another goal in Nashville’s 3-0 win over Alabama FC on Sunday. Grant had a first-half brace against Alabama as well.

DePriest now has six goals on the season and, on the team tally, is only behind teammates Keito Ido, with nine goals, and Grant, with seven.