Cubs claim 3-0 victory at home
NEVADA – A fast start and a fortunate break helped Nevada cruise past Gilbert, 3-0, in the Class 1A substate semifinals May 22 at the SCORE Athletic Complex in Nevada.
Tate Handsaker scored on a breakaway less than five minutes into the game to take control early. Gilbert fought back hard the rest of the half to keep the score 1-0, but a little over 14 minutes into the second, Nevada benefited from some rainy weather as a wet ball slipped through Gilbert keeper Mitchell Daharsh’s hands and into the goal.
That score dealt a big blow to Gilbert’s confidence as Nevada was able to dominate the rest of the way and move one step closer to returning to state.
Nevada kept the ball on Gilbert’s end of the field in the first 14 minutes of the second half – getting off three shots on goal during that span. Then on another attack, Brook Thompson was able to run down the ball eight yards to the right of the goal just before it went out of bounds.
Thompson collected his momentum, turned and fired a cross pass. The ball went too far inside and right to Daharsh, but just as Daharsh got his hands on the ball it slipped through, went across the line and into the net to put Nevada up two scores.
"It was actually supposed to be a pass, but it wasn’t very good and went right to the goalie," Thompson said. "The ball was pretty wet and it slipped right through his hands. I haven’t had many goals this year, so I’ll take what I can get."
Nevada kept the pressure on Gilbert right after Thompson’s goal – taking four more shots on goal before Austin See put the final nail in the Tigers’ coffin. See put a move on a Gilbert defender, then fired a shot past Daharsh from 12 yards out in the middle of the field to give the Cubs a three-score lead with just 11:32 remaining.
"I think we were a little rusty because we haven’t played for awhile and I thought the early goal on the breakaway by Tate helped lift us up a little," Nevada head coach Bill George said. "Our passing was a little bit off and Gilbert has got a pretty decent team. But I thought we played much better in the second half. We controlled the ball a whole better and we had a lot more looks on goal."
Gilbert gave a valiant effort going up against a stronger opponent on their home field. The Tigers ended the season at 6-9.
Nevada, the No. 5 team in 1A, will take an 11-4 record into Saturday’s regional final game against Bondurant-Farrar (9-6-1). The Cubs just handed the Bluejays a 2-0 loss in Nevada on May 13.
Nevada 3, Gilbert 0
G 0 0 – 0
N 1 2 – 3
N – Tate Handsaker, 4:42
N – Brook Thompson, 54:19
N – Austin See, 68:28