In one of the most entertaining weeks in League One history, club, league and state records were shattered as all 11 clubs featured in a goal-filled Week 13. In eight matches, a record 40 goals were scored by 32 individuals, and the League One record of eight goals in a single contest was matched twice in the frenzied week.
With those 40 goals across eight matches, Week 13 of the 2022 League One season stands as the highest-scoring week in league history, topping the previous high of 27 in Week 6 of the 2020 campaign. Additionally, last week’s offensive explosion served as the first time that a week consisting of eight or more matches saw every side score at least once in each contest.
With an average of five goals per match, Week 13 was highlighted by a trio of record-breaking matches: Chattanooga Red Wolves SC’s 7-1 drubbing of the visiting Charlotte Independence, Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC’s 4-1 victory over fellow expansion side Central Valley Fuego FC and Charlotte Independence’s bounce-back 6-2 victory over Forward Madison FC.
Kicking off the week in front of over 2,000 Red Wolves fans at CHI Memorial Stadium, Chattanooga orchestrated a jaw-dropping 7-1 thumping of the visiting Charlotte Independence that was etched into history with the most goals scored by one club in a single match in league history and the largest margin of victory in league history.
Additionally, the record-breaking victory stands as the most goals scored in a single match in the 44-year history of professional soccer in Tennessee. The Red Wolves topped the 42-year-old record of six goals scored in a single match by the North American Soccer League's Memphis Rogues in 1980.
"We had to win, and we had to win at home," Chattanooga Head Coach Jimmy Obleda said after the win. "We've given up too many points in the last few matches, so we set an expectation that we won't lose any more points at home. That mentality was the starting point for us at training over the last few days and we certainly took it to heart.”
At the individual level for the Red Wolves, eventual Player of the Week Juan Galindrez - who became Chattanooga's all-time leading scorer earlier this season - recorded his first professional hat trick and the league's 14th overall in the 7-1 thrashing. His 37-minute hat trick also serves as the third quickest in league history behind Ronaldo Damus' 18-minute hat trick for North Texas SC on June 12, 2019 and Greg Hurst's 26-minute hat trick for Union Omaha on June 13, 2021.
"It was a match that turned out magnificently," Juan Galindrez said. "Seven goals at home and we earned it. From the very first minute, I was determined to score. I was honestly hoping to score four because I’m always ready to give more. God gifted me three goals and I’m very happy to score my first hat trick for the Red Wolves."
Wrapping up the highest-scoring two-match day in league history, Northern Colorado dismantled fellow expansion side Central Valley for the Hailstorm’s first-ever home victory. Like Chattanooga earlier in the evening, Northern Colorado overcame a one-goal deficit before dropping four goals on the visitors to record its largest victory in club history.
“Delighted to get that first home win,” said Hailstorm Head Coach Éamon Zayed. “Despite the two draws before this match tonight, I think we are going in the right direction. I kept saying we seem to be a team on the fringes of almost being a great team. We just needed to put chances away and have a performance like tonight.”
Rounding out Week 13, the Charlotte Independence bounced back in a big way, as they recorded their largest victory in club history just four days after conceding their largest loss in club history. In front of nearly 3,000 spectators at American Legion Memorial Stadium, the Independence obliterated Forward Madison FC on Sunday evening by a final tally of 6-2.
“It was a hard road trip for us last week, but tonight was obviously a good response from the team after Wednesday’s debacle,” Head Coach Mike Jeffries said. “I’m proud of them for that, for coming straight into it and bringing a winning mentality into this game.”
Propelling Charlotte to the first-ever League One match featuring six unique goalscorers for the same club, several players recording their first goals of the season including Gabriel Obertan – the 33-year-old Frenchman made his return to Charlotte and has had a storied career with Bordeaux, Newcastle United and Manchester United among others – and Illia Shevtsov – the only Ukrainian-born professional soccer player in North America.
“It just feels good, especially because of the last few games. I knew what I could do for this team,” Gabriel Obertan said. “It feels good to have the morale and confidence up because it hasn't been easy, but we’re right in the mix and it feels good.”
“I don’t even remember when I scored my last goal. So, I’m super happy it came in a home game, and I'm happy to help the team win,” Illia Shevtsov said. “I’m very appreciative of our fans for the support, and I’m really appreciative of the team and the coaching staff. We kept pushing, kept moving and I think that’s why we had a positive result today.”
Nearing the midway point of the fourth League One season since its 2019 inception, the 2022 season has seen a record 185 goals through 13 weeks. Adding to the watchability of the league, each contest has averaged 2.85 goals per match so far - a record through the first 13 weeks of a League One season.