Chaos a step closer to extending season
Richmond Chaos will take a break next Sunday to enjoy the new Family Day long weekend before returning to the pitch Feb. 17 to conclude opening-round cup play in the Metro Women's Soccer League.
Winners of the Third Division regular-season title, the Chaos will host old rival Dunbar Thunder in the third match of their three-game round-robin at 5 p.m. at Hugh Boyd Park. Chaos outscored the Thunder, fourth in the Second Division this season, twice last year—7-5 and 3-2. Coach Al Groff expects a similarly close game this time out, while also worried even another victory might not be enough for his team to advance to the next round.
"Our winning ways continue but we may not be winning by enough to go to the next round," cautioned Groff, noting that while Chaos has six points from winning its first two cup matches only the top eight teams—from a field of 46—will advance in the Third Division.
"After wins, the next tiebreaker will be the goal differential and then goals for," he continued, noting the Chaos have so far outscored their opponents 5-0 after blanking the West Coast Auto Group Prestige 3-1 Sunday in Pitt Meadows.
The game was scoreless until the 21st minute when right defender Victoria Groff sent striker Asia Robinson free on a long clearing pass. Robinson made no mistake with a quick move and quicker shot to put the Richmond Girls' Soccer Association-sponsored team up 1-0. Fifteen minutes later centre mid Jenny Lyons received a lead pass from striker Natalie Sczerkowsky on a give-and-go and buried the ball into the back of the net.
But despite some great passing and carrying most of the play, Chaos was unable to add to their lead until 18 minutes into the second half when centre mid Alexis Ford scored on a strong strike from 20 yards out. Fellow striker Kelsey Lawrence centered the ball to a rising Ford who rang the ball off the inside of the near post and ultimately behind the Prestige keeper, whose stellar play prevented the Chaos from likely a much more lopsided result.
Chaos keeper Julia Badock also stood tall in recording the clean sheet.
Several other Richmond teams also remain in contention to advance to the next round of cup play, led by the RGSA Red Devils (coached by Mike Fletcher) in the First Division. Like the Chaos, Fletcher's squad has also won its first two games by shutout.
Richmond FC Olympics and Richmond FC Stingrays seem most likely to extend their seasons in the Second Division. The Olympics earned a win and a tie in their first two games, while the Stingrays won their opener 8-0.