December 22, 2004
Saguaro’s Chase Richards just may have the hang of his new position.
As a first-time forward, Richards is producing at a rate that has landed the Sabercats in the Silver Bracket championship game of the Jackrabbits Invitational tournament at Mesa High School.
Richards scored two goals and dished out two assists in the Sabercats’ 5-1 victory over Skyline in the semifinal game on Tuesday.
Saguaro plays Phoenix Cesar Chavez at 10 a.m. today at Mesa High School’s main field. Earlier Tuesday, in pool play, Saguaro defeated Cesar Chavez, 4-1.
In the Gold Bracket, Mesa faces Phoenix Central at noon. Mesa earned the berth with a 4-1 win over Pinnacle.
"He’s made us very dangerous," Saguaro coach Alan Veale said about Richards.
With Saguaro leading 2-0, Richards scored his first goal. As Skyline tried to clear the ball out from the goal box, Richards intercepted the slow rolling kick. With no defenders within five yards, Richards prepared to fire.
"I knew once I got the ball I had to be composed and rip the shot," Richards said. "I just had to stay calm."
In the second half, Richards’ second goal made the score 4-1.
"I’m not used to playing forward," Richards said. "But my teammates are helping me out"
Saguaro also had goals from Richard Gonzales, Chad Varga and Michael Zehring. The Sabercats had 10 shots on goal to three for the Coyotes.
For Saguaro, earning a berth in the championship of its bracket is a fortunate start to what Veale believes will be a special season.
"The things we wanted to get from this tournament, we’re getting," Veale said. "Our goal is to walk out of here having won this tournament. This tournament is a confidence builder for the team."