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, March 7, 2020

Big OT victory puts lacrosse at .500

Keep pushing, don’t let up, keep pushing.

Xavier Prep’s club lacrosse team had come this far, so it wasn’t about to stop now.

As the clock wound down in overtime against the Phoenix Pinnacle Blue team on a sun-splashed Saturday (March 7), the Gators brought the exciting, hard-fought game to a successful conclusion.

Senior Nina Mackey stole a Pinnacle pass near midfield, tossed it high to freshman Joan Walton, who was moving toward the goal, and Walton found the back of the net for the 12-11 game-winner with 1:03 remaining.

It was Xavier’s second win in a row and put the Gators at 2-2 overall, with 36 goals for and 36 against. The Gators will return to action on Tuesday (March 10) with a home game at Petznick Field against Phoenix Horizon.

The Blue team is one of two Pinnacle teams, and Xavier is due to play Pinnacle White on March 25 at Pinnacle.

Xavier and Pinnacle Blue went back and forth most of the day. Pinnacle took the early lead, Xavier moved ahead to lead at halftime, and each time the Gators would score in the second half, Pinnacle would get right back in it.

Senior Tara Kobierowski scored her second goal of the game with 8:19 left in regulation to make it 11-10, but Pinnacle answered with the tying goal with 5:49 left.

“The important thing for us today was all about possession,’’ said Xavier co-coach Diana Oduho. “Sometimes we were too happy just to drive through traffic. We needed to take care of the ball, and I think we did a good job of that just about every single time.’’

Senior Bridget Wickers led the Xavier scoring with a hat trick, followed by Mackey, freshman Keilani Hong and Kobierowski with two each and Walton, freshman Gigi Riviere, and freshman Cassie Worth with one each.

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