The Phoenix Xavier Prep girls soccer team stopped Phoenix Desert Vista from defending its title with a 2-0 win in Saturday’s 6A Conference state championship at Gilbert Campo Verde.
In a rematch of a 1-1 tie in late January, second-seeded Xavier (13-0-3) broke a scoreless tie in the second half with a goal from senior team captain Quiqui Hita.
The goal, which bounced off the crossbar and over the line, was the first goal surrendered by No. 5 Desert Vista (20-3-2) since the original matchup on Jan. 23.
Through what many described as a tough season, Hita’s leadership both on and off the field was crucial to Xavier’s success.
“This team, I’ve never felt any closer to anyone else,” Hita said. “It brings me to tears, I’m so happy.”
Determined to add to its lead, Xavier continued an aggressive offensive attack, which led to a second goal, a violent blast by sophomore Kyla Ferry, to extend the lead to 2-0.
“They’re definitely one of my favorite teams,” Xavier coach Barbara Chura said. “They always will be.”
That turned out to be more than enough, as goalkeeper Kinsey Ehmann shut out last season’s champs.
“It is shocking to see, for me,” said Desert Vista coach Marvin Hypolite, who praised the heart shown by both teams.
Led by a talented front three, headed by the goal scorers of the championship, Xavier showed they had the talent it took, in addition to the heart.
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“Grit, determination, hard work: There’s no question of any of that,” Chura said.
“Our front three are incredible. Quiqui Hita, Kyla Ferry, Abby Hubbard, they’ve been incredible all year long.”
Xavier claimed the state championship from a worthy opponent, forcing the defending champs to pass the torch.
“What a performance,” Hypolite said. “I want to congratulate Xavier. They are champions.”