The large, clear, storage-type bags were full of ice and stacked behind the Xavier Prep bench, where Xavier certified athletic trainer Laurie White had set up shop for the team’s 6A Conference first-round state tournament game at Chandler Basha on Saturday (Feb. 15).
would need most of them.
It had been
that kind of game. Xavier knew the contest would be physical, just as on Jan.
24 when the teams first met at Basha and Basha won 2-0.
Both teams’ players
tumbled into the dust of the yellowish turf from time to time. Some were
fender-benders, others had a greater impact. White certainly was busy, dealing
with various bumps and bruises and even a likely concussion.
It all came
down to overtime. Basha’s Kallie White scored her second goal of the day with
about five minutes left in the first of two 10-minute extra sessions, and the
sixth-seeded Bears survived with a 2-1 victory over the No. 11 Gators.
A few of the
Gators limped off the field afterward, some with faces flushed on the warm,
remarkable take-away from this was even though the battle scars were there,
nobody could kill the Gators’ spirit. It had been the same way all winter, when
the team finished with an extremely deceptive 7-9-1 record. That included a tie
against one of the nation’s top teams (Scottsdale Chaparral) and overtime
losses to a pair of other title contenders (Gilbert Perry and Chandler
5-foot-10 senior, used that height to her advantage on both of her goals for
the Bears (14-6), who move on to face third-seeded Gilbert Highland in a
quarterfinal match at Highland on Tuesday night (Feb. 18).
first goal came with a little more than 10 minutes into the first half on a
scramble in front of the goal following a corner kick. The decisive overtime
goal came with about 5 minutes left in the first overtime when White guided the
ball off another corner kick, but not to the back of the net. The referees
ruled that the shot had crossed the plane of the goal.
“The guy (lead
official) said it was in, so you have to try to get it back,’’ said Xavier
coach Barb Chura.
with 12:07 left in regulation, also was interesting.
starting to run out on the Gators when junior Brooke Bream, one of her team’s
tallest players and one who excels on throw-ins, tossed the ball from the right
sideline, not quite at the corner, and the ball sailed over everyone in front
of the goal and was touched by the Basha goalkeeper just inside the plane of
Early in the
second overtime, Xavier had a good chance to tie it, but the Basha goalkeeper
was able to grab a straight-away shot by freshman Eva Allen.
Of the game
in general, Chura said, “It was not our kind of game (physical).
and long-time assistant Rafael Rios) are proud of this year’s team. I hope they (players) are happy and that all
of them come back next year.
“I think the
teams we played this year really respected us and how we played. We had a lot
of good, young players and our goalkeeper (junior Jaden Campbell) really
developed late in the season.
“We have a
lot of bright kids and what they do in the classroom transfers over to the
field. Hopefully everybody is motivated by that.’’