CAMP VERDE- Last year the Camp Verde girls' soccer team headed to the state tournament all by themselves, having the full support of the Camp Verde faithful. This year, the Cowboys will have two teams to support as the state playoffs begin on Thursday. The boys were able to slip in to the Division V state tournament, beating out the Payson Longhorns for the #12 seed.
On the girls' side, the Cowboys earned the 7th of eight seeds. On Thursday they will make the long journey to Round Valley to take on the #2 ranked Elks. Round Valley is 11-1 this year with their only loss coming to the top-seeded Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets.
The Cowboys have faced off with the Elks twice this year, both games coming in tournament play at the Show Low Invitational early in the season and the Old Pueblo Classic in October at Tucson. Both games were losses unfortunately, but the Cowboys held the Elks to four goals in the first match-up and three in the second. The Cowboys will have a tough match-up as they try to extend their season on Thursday.
For the boys, it is a match up with Phoenix Country Day that stands between the Cowboys and a second round match up with #4 ranked Snowflake. The Cowboys have played PCD three times so far this year, overcoming the Eagles for their first victory of the season and they played to a 1-1 draw in their last regular season game. Head Coach Dave Miller said the Cowboys like the draw for their first round match up.
"We like the draw we have played three times this year and we match up well," Miller said. "The boys are excited to be in the tournament, now we just need to execute. We're really young with limited playoff experience, but we're healthy and ready to play."
The Cowboys played most of the year without speedy forward Jon Castillo after suffering a knee injury in the first game of the season. Injuries have affected the Cowboys all year, as they start their journey the Cowboys could be dangerous with a fully healthy team.
The Cowboys travel down to PCD on Thursday for the first round match up at 4 p.m.