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 3, 2021

Defense dominates for soccer teams in 1-1 tie

 There was a great deal of anticipation in regard to Thursday night’s (Dec. 2) soccer match between Xavier Prep and host Scottsdale Chaparral.

Many people thought that the contest would resemble last year’s Division I state championship duel, which Xavier won 2-0.

And this one came as advertised. Both teams took turns controlling the contest and each scored a goal before two defense-dominated overtime periods kept the score at 1-1 when the night was through.

“We had so many opportunities and their goalkeeper definitely had to make some fantastic saves against us,’’ said Xavier coach Barb Chura.

Xavier had some solid goaltending from sophomore Kate Wilmering, who stood tall the whole game “and did a really nice job,’’ according to Chura.

On offense, the Gators connected on a first-half goal by junior forward Larkin Thomason, who scored twice in a season-opening 5-0 win over Glendale Mountain Ridge on Tuesday night (Nov. 30). Larkin’s goal against Chaparral was assisted by sophomore midfielder Lucy Brink.

“Many people contributed and had great minutes for us,’’ Chura said.

Next on Xavier’s agenda is a match on Monday night (Dec. 6) against Phoenix North at Petznick Field. Time is 6 p.m.

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