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.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Xavier lacrosse runs out of time, energy

 On Tuesday night (April 5), Senior Night for the Xavier Prep club lacrosse team, a fourth straight win was there for the taking by the Gators.

But as emotional extracurriculars sometimes do, the focus and energy can be diverted.

And that basically is what occurred at Petznick Field against Tempe Corona del Sol.

Corona del Sol led for a large portion of the first half before Xavier came back to lead at the break.  The Gators maintained their lead and were up by two goals with about 9 ½ minutes left in the contest.

That is when Xavier started to show signs of fatigue, seemingly slower to react to what the Aztecs were doing and Corona del Sol scored three straight goals, the last with 4:31 left, to earn an 18-17 victory.

It allowed the Aztecs to split their two games with Xavier. The two also met on March 18, in Tempe, with Xavier grinding out a 14-12 win, its first of the season after four straight losses.

Xavier’s record is now at 5-6, Corona del Sol is 6-3 in the Arizona Girls Lacrosse Association’s Division 2 designation.

The Gators had a balanced scoring effort among its five main points-producers. Junior Joan Walton scored six goals to lead the way, using her height advantage to extend her arms high to receive passes and then quickly flick the ball into the net.

Junior Gigi Riviere had four goals, sophomores McKenna Boyer and Marlee McCloskey had three each and junior Keilani Hong had one goal as well as several assists.

The Gators will have some time to get some rest, sharpen their skills and strategize before their next match, on Tuesday (April 12) at Cave Creek Cactus Shadows.

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