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, February 28, 2020

XCP lacrosse improves, but needs more

The scoreboard was a bit decsptive, but Xavier Prep’s club lacrosse team came up with a very strong effort in its home opener on Friday night (Feb. 28) against Scottsdale Chaparral.

The Gators overcame a 6-3 deficit against the defending state runner-up to tie it at 6-6 with 6:32 left in their match, but the Firebirds regained the lead at 7-6 with 5:46 left and held on for the 7-6 win.

Chaparral raised its record to 2-1 while Xavier, which dropped its season opener against Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep 11-5 on Tuesday night (Feb. 25), slipped to 0-2.

Diana Oduho, a new addition to the coaching staff this season along with holdovers Jen Nevatt and Clayton Zuba, ran the team in Nevatt’s absence.

“We are encouraged about the way we played but by no means are we satisfied,’’ Oduho said. “I told the players, “Yes, you only lost by one, but you should have beaten them.’ ’’

The Gators will get another chance to pick up that first win on Monday (March 2) with a home match against Gilbert Higley at 5:30 p.m.

Senior goalkeeper Tanya Barakat had one of her best games with Xavier by stopping 12 shots.

On offense, the Gators appeared to be a bit quicker and more aggressive than they were a year ago.

Nina Mackey and Keilani Hong each scored two goals for Xavier, while Bridget Wickers and Gigi Riviere each had one.

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