Top-seeded Phoenix Pinnacle and No. 4 Phoenix Xavier Prep found themselves in a similar position on Thursday night — but with a different outcome.
“I was saying it the second I stepped on the field, I know this is just a repeat of last year,” 26-goal scorer Jorian Baucom said. “This time it’s ours.”
Pinnacle got a pair of goals from Baucom in a 2-0 win over defending champion Xavier at Gilbert Campo Verde in the Division I girls soccer semifinals.
Pinnacle (19-3-3) plays No. 3 Gilbert Perry in the championship match at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Campo Verde.
Thursday’s result was the reverse of a year ago when Xavier, as a fourth seed, beat top-seeded Pinnacle 2-1 on its way to the state title.
On Thursday, Xavier Prep (14-6-2) relentlessly attacked in the second half but came up empty as Pinnacle packed it in and held on after getting a 1-0 lead late in the first half.
In the 37th minute, Baucom got free for a 15-yard shot that found the top left corner of the net, out of the reach of Xavier goalkeeper Sydnay Tucker.
Maddie Kmetko got free of Xavier defender Elizabeth Poblete to get the ball to Baucom for her 25th goal of the season. Poblete had marked Baucom successfully much of the first half.
Xavier got Kellie Peay open early for a couple of long chances but Pinnacle closed up that gap after the first 20 minutes.
Pinnacle stepped up its attack after that, with Amanda Dodd trying to set things up from the right wing. Baucom got the ball deep on a couple of occasions, only to have Xavier cut the run.
“Tonight wasn’t our best so we definitely have a little bit room for improvement before Saturday,” Pinnacle coach Suzanne Kirchner said. “We have a strong back line, we are a force to be reckoned with, but I know Perry is going to bring us a big game.”
Xavier has been in state big school title match four of the past five years, winning three. It lost in the semifinals in 2012.
Pinnacle lost to Chandler Hamilton in the semifinals in 2012 but won the 5A-Division II title in 2011. It had been in that division’s final four the previous two years.
Pinnacle beat Xavier 1-0 in the season opener, at the Horizon tournament on Dec. 2.