Desert Christian hoping depth, experience will net state soccer success

2013-10-31T00:00:00Z 2015-07-21T09:45:13Z Desert Christian hoping depth, experience will net state soccer successBy Chuck Constantino Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Desert Christian’s girls soccer team has played in two state championships since 2008 but has fallen short each time.

The top-seeded Eagles hope things will be different this year.

Desert Christian’s quest for a title will begin today when it takes on No. 8 Snowflake at Udall Park Field A at 4 p.m., in the first round of the Division IV state tournament.

Desert Christian is 12-0 against Snowflake since 2007, its inaugural season.

Unlike in past seasons, seventh-year coach Mark Harting has depth. He’s relying heavily on his freshmen, seven of whom have scored a goal or logged an assist.

“We can finally scrimmage against ourselves in practice. We

don’t have a JV or freshman team,” Harting said. “We’re starting five freshmen; no other team in the state is doing that.”

The Eagles (17-1-2) haven’t lost since Sept. 7, when they fell to Springerville Round Valley, the No. 3 seed in the three-round, eight-team tournament. The Star recently sat down with three Desert Christian players to find out the secrets to their success:

Lexi Rorrer

• Year: Senior

• The basics: Rorrer, a captain, has spent the past four seasons as the Eagles’ goalkeeper.

What she’s done: Through 20 games this year, Rorrer has surrendered just nine goals and notched 13 shutouts. Of her 63 career wins between the posts, 36 are shutouts.

• She said it: “Before a game, I’m ready. You can see it on my face. Mentally I’m thinking, ‘Kick it to me and I’m going to block it.’ There is no fear, I want them to shoot.”

Sarah Butler

• Year: Sophomore

• The basics: Butler typically plays striker but will occasionally switch to midfielder. She is the only Desert Christian player who competes on a club team: She’s a defender for Sabino Vista Arsenal.

• What she’s done: Butler has set the program record for goals in a season with 30. She’s also registered nine assists this year.

• She said it: “I’ve learned how to control the ball more and use my speed to my advantage. I’ve worked as hard as I could to get the goals I have.”

Jenna Cray

• Year: Senior

• The basics: Cray, a two-time captain and four-year starter, plays center midfielder.

• What she’s done: Cray has netted 17 goals and is the Eagles’ main table-setter with a program-best 22 assists. She has also notched a school-record five career hat tricks, and is responsible for both the program’s 300th and 400th goals.

• She said it: “An assist is sort of artistic: It’s like a painting. Everyone else can appreciate the painting or goal, but you know what it took to make all the colors blend and have everything come together. Since I know I’m capable of making those passes, I don’t see why I shouldn’t. It’s nice to give others that opportunity.”

Contact reporter Chuck Constantino at or 954-0859. On Twitter: @CConstan3 or @azprepstar

Copyright 2016 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Latest scores and more from all sports

MLB:  News | Scoreboard NFL:  News | Scoreboard NBA:  News | Scoreboard
NHL:  News | Scoreboard NCAA FB:  News | Scoreboard NCAA BK:  News | Scoreboard
Golf:  News | Leaderboard Auto Racing:  News | Results Tennis:  News | Scoreboard
Other: MLS  |  Womens NCAA BK  |  WNBA  |  CFL  |  Minor League Baseball  |  NFL Draft  |  NBA Draft