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 1, 2018

Gators, Desert Vista battle to soccer tie

Xavier Prep and Phoenix Desert Vista have one of the top soccer rivalries in Arizona, and Friday night’s (Nov. 30) home opener for the Gators was another example.

The two teams, who faced each other in the 2017 6A Conference title match won by Xavier, battled to a 2-2 tie at Petznick Field.

Each team scored once in the first half and one more in the second. No shots found the net after that in both 10-minute overtime periods.

Senior Caitlin Johnston and freshman Keila Lopez Enriquez scored for the Gators (1-0-1), and sophomore Katie Harris came up with a strong effort in goal.

Harris got help from freshman defender Jayme Brown, who was named Player of the Game by Gators coach Barb Chura.

“Playing with gutsy determination in a highly contested game showed that she can play against a high-level team such as Desert Vista,’’ Chura told the MaxPreps Web site. “Jayme kept tight marks against crafty and speedy forwards, allowing few shots on goal from her side. She also was involved in the Gator attack with quick and long throw-ins, taking goal kicks when needed, and attacking runs during corner kicks.’’

The Gators’ next contest will be on Tuesday (Dec. 4), another home match against Chandler Basha. Start time is 6 p.m.

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