Sports

Sixth sense helping Chaos stay No. 1

Richmond Chaos found themselves in a rare spot Sunday—trailing.

A quick, young Wildebeests from South Delta scored seven minutes into the game, taking advantage of a missed clearing attempt, and struck again on a great shot that keeper Victoria Groff had no chance of stopping.

But then the Chaos woke up, with striker Asia Robinson cutting the deficit in half by converting a great centering pass from Lauren Tasaka in the 28th minute. Just two minutes later the game was tied at two after Tasaka scored herself on a give-and-go with centre midfielder Jenny Lyons.

Still, the Chaos knew they were in for a tough match and played like it in the second half. Fullback Andrea Bertram intercepted a Wildebeest lead pass to send outside midfielder in alone for the go-ahead goal 10 minutes in the period. Then after the Wildebeests scored to again even the score, Tasaka took a pass deep in the corner from outside midfielder Ana Pacheco to net the winning goal with 16 minutes to play. Victoria Groff made a diving save with just under two minutes remaining to ensure the Chaos of their 11th consecutive win, leaving them alone atop the Metro Women’s Soccer League’s Third Division.

“It’s been quite a roll,” says Al Groff, coach of the second-year Chaos. “This is a very talented group, but also very committed. We talk about different things in practice like strategy but everyone knows their role.”

It was Victoria Groff, along with a few of her friends, who last year convinced her dad to help them organize a team. They had enjoyed some success as a bronze level team in youth soccer and wanted to continue playing. While exercise and camaraderie were the main motivators, they also wanted to challenge themselves.

Soon, they were able to convince a few of their other friends—including a nucleus of the former Funky Monkeys—to join the team and success immediately followed. Some of the players who played youth soccer together often display a sixth-sense with the Chaos that even leaves coach Groff in amazement.

“In our last game for instance we took the ball off the opening kick and went through the whole team to score,” he says. “There were five passes and the ball was in the goal. It was the kind of thing you draw on the chalkboard. the give-and-goes were just so natural.”

The Chaos will play two other Richmond teams over the next two weeks before breaking for the Christmas holiday. They’re set to play the Thunder at Hugh Boyd Park at 5 p.m. Sunday and Hodder Tugs at 3 p.m. at Steveston-London Park on Dec. 9.

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