Cowboys take on reigning state champs

Staff photo by Jared Dort

CAMP Verde Freshman Kristy Williams (11) tries to free herself from the grips of a River Valley opponent.

The girls played defending state champion Blue Ridge as part of the St. Gregory Tournament, while the boys faced state runner-up Show Low in a rematch of last year’s state semifinals.

While the girls lost to Blue Ridge 5-0, coach Mary Taylor’s team had a solid weekend overall. The Cowboys rebounded to beat Show Low 4-2, then knocked off River Valley 2-0.

River had beaten CVHS by one goal in the teams’ season opener on Sept. 4, so that win was especially satisfying.

Rochelle Williams led the Cowboy scoring attack, booting three goals against Show Low and one against River Valley. Jacey Reimer netted one shot in each game.

Camp Verde actually played pretty well against Blue Ridge after giving up four first-half goals, Taylor said.

The coach praised the play of freshman Kristy Williams, who filled a variety of positions during the tournament, and Kellie Miller, who played everywhere from sweeper in the back to center midfield up top.

“The top highlight in my mind is Tiffanie Romero’s control of the centerfield at stopper,” Taylor said. “She is so fast and tenacious. She dominates and distributes like a champ.”

The weekend results left Camp Verde 2-2 going into a big conference match-up with Chino Valley last night (Tuesday, after press time).

The Cowboys will host Precision on Thursday, then will get ready for its Sept. 22 duel with rival Sedona Red Rock. Sedona KO’d Camp Verde from last year’s playoffs in the semifinals.

In boys soccer, Camp Verde and Show Low have a rich playoff history. Show Low knocked the Cowboys out in the first round in 2000, then Camp Verde returned the favor with a 6-0 drubbing in the quarterfinals the following year.

Last season, the two teams met in the semis, with the Cowboys enjoying home field advantage. Even though CVHS rallied from a 1-0 deficit to force overtime, coach Dave Miller’s team couldn’t capitalize on its 30-plus other opportunities around the net.

The Cougars scored midway through the first OT and hung on for a 2-1 triumph.

Camp Verde looked ready to avenge that defeat in the first half on Saturday.

Casey Thompson finished a pass from Andy Brooks, then Seth McCabe sent a rocket to the far post for a 2-0 advantage. But Show Low scored two quick goals to start the second half and the game went into the books as a 2-2 stalemate.

The Cowboys outshot the Eagles 27-19 but two “defensive miscues” right after the break proved tough to overcome, coach Miller said.

“(We were) able to send a barrage of shots in against the Show Low goalie in the closing minutes without success,” Miller said. “It was a great match between traditional rivals. We had the chance to look at all the varsity players against a quality team.

“Games like this one just help get us to where we need to be.”

Show Low came into Saturday’s contest 7-0 after some early season triumphs and winning the Round Valley Tournament championship. Camp Verde had played just once prior, dispatching of Northland Prep 4-0.

The Cowboys played Chino Valley on Tuesday night and will now get ready for this weekend’s Chino Cup – another early-season tournament that should feature a playoff-type atmosphere.

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