December 23, 2004
For the Saguaro High boys soccer team, one goal accomplished, another challenge to meet.
The Sabercats defeated Laveen Cesar Chavez 2-0 to win the Silver Bracket of the Jackrabbits Invitational at Mesa High School.
"We’ve accomplished our goal (of winning the tournament)," said Saguaro coach Alan Veale. "And now we can rest for the rest of this week and get ready to make our run to become region champions."
For most of the first half, both teams had close calls, but had trouble finding the back of the net. During the first 25 minutes of the half, Saguaro had four shots on goal and Cesar Chavez had three closerange attempts that were thwarted by Sabercat goalkeeper Zachary Kincaid.
At the 14:15 mark of the first half, Saguaro broke the scoreless tie. Mike Patello got the most of his injured leg on an indirect kick from midfield. The kick found Chase Richards, who had broken from the scrum at the outside of the goalkeeper box.
"I was surprised because I had four guys on me," Richards said. "I got sandwiched right before I scored.
Before the end of the half, the Champions had three more quality scoring opportunities. Kincaid made one save and two shots hit a crossbar.
Saguaro’s second and final goal came 45 seconds into the second half.
With the ball in the Cesar Chavez goalie box, Richards kicked a ball that bounced off a Champion player and into the goal.
"I tried to shoot it and he got a foot on it that helped me out," Richards said.
"That happens all the time," Veale said. "Another player is part of the field just like a referee or a goal post."
For Saguaro, the championship game was closer than its pool play match against Cesar Chavez. In that game, the Sabercats defeated Cesar Chavez 4-1.
"This was a much different game," Veale said.
During the game, Veale implored to his players, "they (Cesar Chavez) came to play."
Cesar Chavez’s last best chance to score came with 24:20 left in the match. Gabino Perez fired a point-blank shot that found Kincaid out of position. Saguaro midfielder Chad Varga stepped in front of Perez’s shot to ensure the shutout.