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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Soccer team looks strong on Senior Night

After a tie against Phoenix Pinnacle on Friday (Jan. 13), Xavier Prep’s soccer team rebounded with a 4-1 victory over visiting Chandler High on Tuesday night (Jan. 17).
The triumph was even more satisfying, given the fact that it also was Senior Night. Nine seniors were honored along with their families at halftime.
By then, the Gators (8-2-2) already had things under control with a 3-0 lead. Junior Abby Hubbard scored the team’s first goal, followed by junior Nicole Hook’s back-to-back scoring shots. Sophomore Kyla Ferry picked up the final goal, with 22:33 left in the second half, and Chandler (5-11) scored with 7:02 left.
“Senior Night is always very exciting. It was a great night all around,’’ said Xavier coach Barb Chura.
“We knew Chandler would come in and be very competitive. I was a little familiar with a few of their players from club ball. What we wanted to do was take away the things they were trying to do early, make them have to try to play catch-up, and we did that.’’
Now the Gators must figure out what to do about Gilbert Perry, which pays a visit to Petznick Field on Thursday (Jan. 19) at 6 p.m.
Perry is 19-1, winning 19 straight after a loss to Scottsdale Desert Mountain in its season opener. Perry has scored a whopping 130 goals, with Xavier scoring just 37. That means the XCP defense will have its work cut out.
Perry has two prolific scorers – Amanda Dahl (35 goals) and Kiara Parker (20). Ferry is the Gators’ top scorer, with 12.

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