Elite players are capable of carrying a team on their shoulders, and a good example of that came on Monday night (April 20) when Xavier Prep senior midfielder Areta Buness dominated from start to finish against Scottsdale Desert Mountain.
She scored her team’s first three goals within the first 3:05 of the match, added several more along the way and tallied twice in overtime as the Gators outlasted the Wolves 15-14 at Petznick Field. Buness finished with 11 goals.
The win enabled Xavier to snap a two-game losing streak and put the overall record at 11-3. The Gators’ next match is Wednesday (April 22) at Petznick against Gilbert High. Start time is 7:30 p.m.
Buness, who will play collegiately at Stanford, is one of the better players you will find off the draw. She reaches up with her stick to get the ball, brings it down and takes off. She is near the goal practically before the opponent realizes it.
Desert Mountain rebounded from its early deficit and kept it close. Xavier never could quite gain much breathing room.
The Wolves took a 12-11 lead with 5:42 left in regulation on a goal by Abigail Spivey. Buness went to work again, scoring at 4:20 and 3:15 for a 13-12 Xavier lead, but Desert Mountain’s Elizabeth Heidler scored with 33.8 seconds left to send the match into overtime at 13-13.
Buness scored with 2:41 left in the first 3-minute overtime period, and gave the Gators a two-goal lead with a goal with 2:10 left in the second overtime frame. Xavier goalie Michelle Valenzuela provided some key stops late in regulation and overtime.