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.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Top-seeded Gators ready to get their kicks

Here we go !!
The Division I state soccer bracketing has been set by the Arizona Interscholastic Association has been set, and Xavier Prep’s Gators are the No. 1 seed !!
Xavier, which finished the regular season with a 14-3 record, begins its quest for the school’s ninth state title when it plays host to No. 16 Mesa Red Mountain (7-12-1) on Tuesday night (Feb. 2) at 7.
If the Gators win that one, they would advance to the second round on Feb. 6 against either No. 8 Gilbert Campo Verde or No. 9 Tempe Corona del Sol. That second-round game, at Petznick Field, would begin at either noon or 2 p.m.
Next-door neighbor Brophy Prep is the top seed on the boys’ side, so if the Broncos win their first-round match against Phoenix Desert Vista, they would play at 2 p.m. on Feb. 6 and Xavier would play at noon. If Brophy is eliminated in the first round, Xavier would play at 2 p.m.
Xavier wants to avoid a repeat of 2015, when as the No. 2 seed fell to No. 15 Chandler High in the opening round.
The Gators have a good blend of youth and experience. Sophomore Nicole Hook leads the team in scoring, with freshman Emily Chiao right behind. And senior Lex Allard and junior Quiqui Hita have come on strong down the stretch.
Sophomore Kinsey Ehmann has been stellar in goal, having allowed just nine goals all season.
Here is a look at the 16 Division I seeds:
1 – Xavier Prep. 2 – Gilbert Perry. 3 – Phoenix Desert Vista. 4 – Chandler Hamilton. 5 – Phoenix Pinnacle. 6 – Scottsdale Chaparral. 7 – Scottsdale Desert Mountain. 8 – Gilbert Campo Verde. 9 – Tempe Corona del Sol. 10 – Phoenix Mountain Pointe. 11 – Chandler Basha. 12 – Gilbert Highland. 13 – Gilbert. 14 – Chandler. 15 – Goodyear Millennium. 16 – Mesa Red Mountain.

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