5A-I girls soccer: Xavier ends Corona's run - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

5A-I girls soccer: Xavier ends Corona's run

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Posted: Saturday, February 13, 2010 8:58 pm | Updated: 3:57 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

It took the entire tournament and No. 1 seed Xavier to do it, but No. 15 seed Corona del Sol was finally bested in the 5A Division I girls state soccer tournament.

Xavier kept the heat on Corona the entire afternoon Saturday at Gilbert Campo Verde High and got a goal each half from Jessica Fitzgerald to subdue the Aztecs, 2-0, and win its second straight state title.

Xavier (16-5) took about five minutes of the opening half to begin assaulting Corona's goal.

Anywhere from eight to 10 good chances failed to get past Aztecs goalie Hailey Hayes either because of Hayes or a misfire before Fitzgerald did a little one-on-one in what first appeared to be an unlikely chance Xavier had at scoring in the first half compared with others.

"I got control on the outside and just decided to take it to the goal," Fitzgerald said. "When I let it go, it wasn't very hard. It seemed like it was in slow motion, but it went in. That goal gave us confidence we could get more."

Fitzgerald's tally came in the 31st minute, about 30 seconds after fellow Xavier forward Kaitlin King just missed a shot from the penalty kick spot.

Hayes, who was outstanding in goal for the Aztecs, couldn't reach Fitzgerald's roller that safely tucked into the right corner of the net.

"We had lots of opportunities," Xavier coach Barb Chura said. "I thought we should have been up more in the first half with the chances we had. But that's soccer. ... I think the better team won."

Hard to argue with Chura. Corona (14-10-1) had a few marginal chances, but nothing like Xavier was churning out. The Aztecs played in a defensive posture the first half and did their best in the second half to turn things their way.

"I haven't been prouder of a team than I am this one," Corona coach Matt Smith said. "We got a couple sniffs early and hung on the first half. The second half we pushed and pressed. Gave it everything we had. We couldn't get anything going."

Despite the confidence Fitzgerald spoke of, Xavier didn't get much more. Just Fitzgerald's second goal that put the finishing touches on the day in the game's final minute.

Fitzgerald, with an assist from King, zipped a shot past Hayes to cement the back-to-back titles for the Gators. Xavier's run in athletics this season has been one win after another.

The Gators won volleyball, cross country, golf, swimming and badminton in the fall. Soccer makes six titles. The basketball team has played well and is on deck with that state tournament beginning in 12 days.

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