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.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

XCP soccer slips past Horizon

There likely won’t be too many runaway soccer victories for Xavier Prep this season, so the Gators will have to gut it out as they did in a 1-0 win over Phoenix Horizon in XCP’s home opener on Friday night (Dec. 2) at Petznick Field.
Xavier, which began the season with a 4-1 road victory over Gilbert High, got a goal from senior Katie Moore just a little more than six minutes into the game and made it stand up the rest of the way.
The Gators had a number of opportunities to widen that margin, but could not capitalize, hitting the uprights on a couple of occasions or watching the ball go over the top of the goal.
“We had our chances, but Horizon did, too,’’ said Xavier coach Barb Chura. “Horizon has a good team. They are fast and quick and athletic.’’
The XCP defense kept junior Kinsey Ehmann from being bombarded with too many shots. Some of Horizon’s shots sailed wide or high, and Ehmann was able to deflect or grab others.
“Kinsey made some good decisions. She is experienced  back there and that’s what it will do for you,’’ Chura said.
“As far as our defense goes, we played well at times but we made our share of mistakes, too.’’
Chura wants to keep her players as fresh as possible, but there will be times when the situation calls for longer blocks of time on the field.
The Gators have almost a week to improve their play in practice before traveling to face Phoenix Trevor Browne on Thursday (Dec. 8).

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