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AIA365 Staff | Students

Don Ketchum

Staff Writer,

Desert Vista girls calm nerves, earn 1st-round soccer win

Dec 27, 2012

The girls soccer team from Phoenix Desert Vista is the No. 1-ranked team in Division I (by for a reason. The Thunder are fundamentally sound, they rarely are out of position to make and receive passes, and they are fast and athletic.

All of those things were on display in Thursday’s (Dec. 27) opening round of the Arizona Soccer Showcase at the Scottsdale Sports Complex in north Scottsdale.

Desert Vista got two goals apiece from freshman forward Tatum Heeres and junior midfielder Nicole Gefrides for a 4-1 victory over Cave Creek Cactus Shadows, the No. 2-ranked team in Division II.

The Arizona Soccer Showcase continues Friday (Dec. 28) and Saturday (Dec. 29), with the championship matches scheduled for Monday (Dec. 31).

The father-son assistant-coaching duo of Bruce and Taylor Hough (pronounced Hoe) took over Desert Vista on Thursday while head coach Marvin Hypolite was out of town on a personal matter.

Desert Vista also was missing about five players for various reasons, according to Bruce Hough.

“The girls who were able to get in some more playing time stepped up for us,’’ he said.

Hough said the Thunder came out a bit flat.

“I think they were nervous. It was understandable in a big tournament like this,’’ he said. “They were shaking a little, and I don’t think it was all from the cold.’’

Heeres and Gefrides scored a goal in each half. Cactus Shadows moved the ball well, but just couldn’t put the ball in position to make many high-percentage shots.

The Falcons finally scored with about five minutes left in the game on a shot by senior forward Casey Paul.

Desert Vista is continuing to build into a team capable of challenging for the state title. It recently upset defending champion Gilbert Highland.

Hough said the Thunder have a good mix of older players and some younger talent on the rise.

“We work together well,’’ he said. “We have nine seniors and they carry us mentally and physically, and they serve as mentors to the younger girls, both on the field and outside of the field, provide examples of how you are to do things.’’