It took 80 minutes of scoreless regulation, 30 minutes of overtime without a goal, and eight penalty kicks apiece before Phoenix Xavier finally prevailed in the 5A-I state girls soccer championship Friday night at Arizona State’s soccer stadium.
The Gators outlasted Phoenix Desert Vista 1-0, winning the match 5-4 on penalty kicks.
“This is a fickle game,” Xavier coach Barb Chura said. “They never gave in. They kept fighting and fighting.”
Xavier controlled much of the match but was continually turned away by Thunder keeper Hannah Fadenrecht.
Fadenrecht played her counterpart, Xavier’s Annie Graham, even through seven rounds of shootout tries, but it was Gator Carmen Abella’s dead-on try that won it in the end.
The championship is Xavier’s sixth girls soccer crown and first since 2002.