Bio

DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for more than three decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for AIA365.com, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Gators blanked again, soccer "play-in' this week

The “second season’’ is about to begin for Xavier Prep’s soccer team, but how long will it last?

It’s up to the Gators, who have won two 6A Conference state championships in a row.

Xavier finished its regular season on Friday night (Feb. 1) with a 4-0 loss at Chandler Hamilton.

It was the third straight loss by the Gators, all by shutout. Their record is 8-6-1.

They will have an opportunity to qualify for the state tournament with a “play-in’’ game on Thursday (Feb. 7). The game will be at Xavier (6 p.m.) against an as-yet-to-be-named opponent.

Teams 9 through 24 in the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s power-points rankings will participate in the play-in. Xavier was No. 9 prior to meeting Hamilton, but the Gators could slip a spot or two depending on what other teams did in their finales.

Winners of the play-in games will move on to the state tournament and will be seeded against the top eight teams, which automatically qualified. First round of the state tournament will be Saturday, Feb. 9.

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