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 29, 2016

XCP soccer finishes in tourney's top 16

Xavier Prep’s soccer team was able to finish among the top 16 teams despite its first two losses of the season on Wednesday (Dec. 28) in the Excalibur Invitational in Santa Ana, Calif.
After defeating Long Beach (Calif.) Poly on the tournament’s first day on Tuesday (Dec. 27), the Gators narrowly missed advancing in their first game on Wednesday against Redondo (Calif.) Union. Redondo scored a late goal and came away with a 1-0 victory.
Xavier coach Barb Chura said the Gators had their chances to score, but hit the crossbar and post with shots before Redondo scored.
The Gators then faced Foothill High, the team that hosted the event, and fell 5-2. Kyla Ferry scored both XCP goals, assisted by Abby Hubbard.
“Foothill was a very good team,’’ Chura said.
“We got a lot of great competition and good games. Overall, it was a great trip with a lot of team bonding.’’
Xavier (5-2) will begin 2017 with a pair of road games, on Jan. 6 against Scottsdale Desert Mountain and Jan. 10 against Chandler Hamilton. The Gators' first home game of the new year will be Jan. 12 against Yuma Kofa.

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