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:
• 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.”
• 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.”
• 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.”