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.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Soccer takes opponents to limit but falls short

Wednesday (Dec. 30) proved to be a tough final day for the Xavier Prep soccer team in the Excalibur Tournament of Champions in Irvine, Calif.
The Gators began the day at 3-0 after winning their first three games of the tournament.
But they fell to Esperanza (Anaheim, Calif.) on penalty kicks after battling to a scoreless tie in the semifinals, then suffered another penalty-kick loss to Chaminade (Los Angeles) after the two teams tied at 1 in regulation in the third-place game on Wednesday night.
Xavier coach Barb Chura said the Gators dominated the game against Esperanza, but could not put the ball in the net during regulation time.
Chura said she played reserves in the third-place game to give them experience and the Gators held up well. Senior Jackie Tait scored the XCP goal on a feed from sophomore Hannah Hale.
Xavier (8-2) had two players selected to the All-Tournament Team – senior Lex Allard and sophomore goalkeeper Kinsey Ehmann.
The Gators return home to Petznick Field on Tuesday (Jan. 5) for a game against Phoenix Pinnacle.

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