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.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Gator lacrosse rallies, but time runs out on them

 Xavier Prep began the 2022 club lacrosse season with a pair of road losses, so Monday night’s (March 14) home opener at Petznick Field offered the Gators a big chance to put a victory on the board against Cave Creek Cactus Shadows.

While the result was the same as the first two, this 15-13 loss featured some encouraging moments for the Gators.

The most noteworthy was a rally late in the second half when the XCP scored three straight goals to move within what would be the final differential. The clock, however, was not an ally and time just ran out.

As a whole, the Gators played better in the first half, trading leads with the Falcons. The Gators scored twice in the final 1:03 for a 9-8 lead at halftime.

The early part of the second half was a different story. Cactus Shadows took advantage of five yellow cards (primarily for high sticks), going on a 5-0 run to take control of the match. By rule, Xavier had to sit two players for the infractions, one player at the fourth card with 6 minutes left and the second at the fifth card with about 3 ½ minutes to go.

Xavier made its late charge with Joan Walton’s fourth goal of the match, followed by Keilani Hong’s third goal and one by McKenna Boyer.

The last goal came at the 8:10 mark, but Cactus Shadows was able to run the clock down with its ball control and deft passing to secure the win.

The Falcons had begun the season at 3-0 before a pair of losses entering the Xavier match.

For Xavier, Marlee McCloskey had three goals and Gigi Riviere had two. Hong had three assists to go along with her three goals.

Xavier will make another attempt at earning its first win on Wednesday (March 16) at Petznick Field against Phoenix Desert Vista. Start time is 7 p.m.



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