The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


Follow Us On Instagram
View this profile on Instagram

Xavier XPress (@xcpxpress) • Instagram photos and videos

Local Weather

Xavier soccer presses on toward state championship 4-peat

In the second half of the game, forward Michal Cagungun ‘25 holds off the Desert Vista defense to keep possession. Cagungun often uses speed and strength to get around defenders to pass the ball to teammates. (Photo courtesy of Nero Nuez)

On February 21, the Xavier soccer team competed in the AIA Division 1 state semifinals against Desert Vista. The Gators won in an exciting game, with a final score of 3-1. 

Xavier had tied Desert Vista during the second game of the regular season, 0-0.

Midfielder Ally Brown ‘25 knew her team would improve during the season and said, “We obviously had to win, and playing them really early in the season gave us the confidence and belief that, as a team, we are better than when we played them before.”

Head coach Barb Chura shared that, to win this game, the team perfected their positions and she was “really excited to bring a completely different lineup which was much better and gave Desert Vista a hard time competing with our offense.” 

In the first half of the game neither team scored, but in the second half that changed. Despite the low scoring early in the game, Chura stated, “We dominated both halves.” 

The first Gator to score during the second half was Lourdes Lauterborn ‘24 who was assisted by Brown. 

Goalie Kate Willmering ‘24 was scored on in the middle of the second half, from a penalty kick, evening the score, 1-1.

That was it, however, for the Desert Vista scoring. Willmering thanked her defensive line saying, “I did not have much action this game. I think my defenders had a great game, especially in the second half.”

The Gators continued to create opportunities to score, and towards the end of the second half, Madison Schenk ‘24 was assisted by Lucy Brink ‘24 for a goal giving the gators a 2-1 lead. 

Strong defense by Izzy Lee ‘25 and Bianca Willis ‘26 kept the Thunder from scoring, and with time running out in the second half the Gators were on the road to victory. 

Midfielder Olivia Yu ‘26 took a shot but it was saved by the Thunder goalie. However, the ball bounced off her hand, and Brink was able to collect, shoot and score, propelling the Gators for the final goal, to a 3-1 win.

“We knew we would have it in for a great game last night. It was very competitive, back and forth for most of the game,” Chura said. 

Defender Lee shared that although Xavier faced different obstacles this year, as a team, they are strong. “New players, but they are all good. Consistency over the years leads to success,” said Chura. 

Xavier will compete in the AIA State Championship on Saturday, February 24 at 3:30 at Mesa High School. The Gators are facing the Hamilton Huskies and defending their state titles, looking for a historical, first-ever soccer 4-peat in Arizona. 

“Rest, practice, get excited, and hydrate,” is Brown’s plan to be prepared for the championship, and she tells fans to “show up, wear blue, be loud.”

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

We love and accept all constructive criticisms. We also like to hear what we did good; it's a great confidence booster!
All XPress picks Reader picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • M

    MJ MartinezFeb 23, 2024 at 8:15 pm

    Ellie, your sports coverage was great!