DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four 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, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Xavier soccer competitive in Calif.

Xavier Prep did a solid job over the weekend in the Excalibur Soccer Classic in Santa Ana, Calif., and will have one or possibly two more matches as the tournament resumes on Monday (Dec. 29).
The Gators reached Monday’s semifinals in their Guinevere bracket with a shootout victory on Saturday afternoon (Dec. 27) over Westview of California, after trailing 2-0 at halftime. Quiqui Hita and Madie Amavila scored goals to get XCP back into the game.
XCP was set to face Scripps Ranch of the San Diego area in a 9 a.m. game (Phoenix time) on Monday. A win by Xavier would earn a spot in the bracket finals at 2:45 p.m. (Phoenix time). The bracket final winner will finish ninth in the 32-team tournament and the loser 10th.
In the tournament opener on Friday (Dec. 26) Xavier outlasted Mater Dei of Los Angeles in a shootout. Tessa Zaccagnio got the XCP goal in regulation play. According to Xavier coach Barb Chura, this win was noteworthy because Mater Dei’s entire back line was at least 6 feet or taller.
Xavier had another shootout match early Saturday before falling to Buchanan High of Fresno, Calif. 2-1. Again, Zaccagnio got the goal for the Gators during regulation.
“It has been a tremendous trip,’’ said Xavier coach Barb Chura. “The soccer level has been very high, extremely competitive, and the team bonding has been noticeable. We are looking forward to Monday and having an opportunity to play in the final of our bracket. Overall, Rafa (Rios, assistant coach) and I are extremely pleased. ‘’

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