Cowboys take second in their own tournament
Camp Verde's seventh annual girls soccer tournament was held last weekend. The Cowboys finished second behind Sedona which holds the top spot in the conference rankings, again just ahead of Camp Verde.
In the championship game, the Cowboys were defeated by the Scorpions, 3-0 all scores coming off of corner kicks.
"The Sedona players are taller, so it makes it very difficult to defend," said coach Mary Taylor.
Rochelle Williams, Kimmy Reddell and Tiffany Romero were selected as all-tournament players from the Camp Verde team. Nicole Betz and Kellie Miller also put in a strong showing on the field for the Cowboys.
Camp Verde got through the round-robin portion of the tournament by defeating Payson, 4-0, followed by another win against Round Valley, 5-0, on Friday.
Saturday morning, the Cowboys faced off against Show Low where they squeaked out a 1-0 victory to advance to the championship game.
Against Payson, Rochelle Williams, Rainey Walker, Kristy Williams and Maggie Monroe each kicked one in to rack up the four goals for the win.
The goal by Rainey Walker was the highlight of the game. Kellie Miller threw the ball in and Walker took a solid shot at the goal and got the ball into the back of the net.
The Round Valley game was an easy one for the Cowboys as they scored all five of their goals in the first half.
Show Low was a bit more challenging than they first anticipated, but got ahead 1-0, with a goal scored by Kristy Williams, assisted by her sister Rochelle. The score remained 1-0 as the Cowboys kept Show Low scoreless despite an impressive effort.
Last year's defending state champions, Blue Ridge, came in third at the tournament, followed by Chino Valley rounding out the top four teams.
As the Cowboys get into the last part of their season, not only playoffs start becoming a priority to prepare for, but also next season.
As it stands, the Cowboys will face the No. 3 team from the East. Either St. Johns or Show LowŠno doubt they are hoping for Show Low, knowing that the Cowboys can beat them. St. Johns has proven to be a tough team and the only team to beat Sedona this season.
Next year the roster will change, with nine seniors vacating their positions at the end of this year.
Nicole Betz, who plays outside-defense this year, will make the move to sweeper for next season and is working with current sweeper Reddell to hone in her skills. Danielle Anderson is also being groomed for the goalie position being vacated by senior Heather Travis as well.
The senior game is coming up for the Cowboys today during their game against Verde Valley. The Cowboys have nine seniors on their roster: Ofelia Lopez, Joy Chagolla, Jamie Gray, Brittney Messik, Kellie Miller, Tiffany Romero, Heather Travis, Reddell and Crystal Reyes.
But before this season is over and the Cowboys soccer team says their good byes to the class of 2006, the playoffs are coming up fast.
"It feels like the team is peaking right now. Everyone is smiling and having a good time," said coach Taylor.
Besides Verde Valley, the Cowboys play one last conference game against River Valley, Saturday on the road. Both games should not be too much of a problem for Camp Verde, but they also know not to underestimate their opponents.
Solid in their second place spot in the conference, the Cowboys will take that success with them on the road when they begin their playoff bid on Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Tempe Sports Complex. If they make it past that round of playoffs, then they will compete on Nov. 4-5 for a top spot in the state.