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, December 8, 2017

Soccer players still getting used to each other

They were back-to-back victories on back-to-back nights for Xavier Prep’s soccer team, but they were delivered in different ways.

Wednesday night’s (Dec. 6) 5-0 victory at Phoenix Horizon came despite the team being a bit out of sorts and lacking some of the cohesion that coach Barb Chura wants to see.

One night later, on Thursday (Dec. 7), the Gators were back to being their old selves and used a strong all-around effort as they trounced visiting Phoenix Trevor Browne 11-0 at Petznick Field.

Xavier is now 3-0, with all three wins coming via shutout. The Gators return to action on Monday (Dec. 11) with a game at Gilbert Highland. The contest begins at 6 p.m.

“Sometimes frustration sets in, so you have to figure things out internally to get back on track,’’ Chura said. “We did a little bit of that in the second half against Horizon and had a meeting before tonight’s game (against Trevor Browne), and we were able to turn things around. We needed a win like this.’’

The Gators got a big game from junior Kyla Ferry, who scored four goals. Senior Abby Hubbard scored twice, and the team got one goal each from sophomore Elizabeth Warren, sophomore Jocelyn Rupp, senior Abby Castlen, sophomore Brynn Lebel and senior Nicole Hook.

“We have a ton of new players and we were able to get everybody involved tonight,’’ Chura said. “All of this is a process, and we need to get better every single outing, whether it is in practice or a game.’’

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