Sat, March 28

Camp Verde girls soccer stays even

The Camp Verde girls soccer team had its annual soccer tournament on Friday and Saturday. Two losses on Friday and two wins on Saturday sum up the weekend for the Cowboys.

It was a good day on Friday for the Cowboys despite the losses. The first game was against Blue Ridge, last year's State runners-up. The Cowboys were leading last year's state runners-up by the half. Coach Mary Taylor used the opportunity to play some bench players that don't get a lot of time out on the field.

The strategy backfired for the team and at the end of regulation, the teams were tied, 3-3. After a shootout, Blue Ridge walked away with the win. Blue Ridge went on to win the tournament this year.

"It was the best game the team has played all year," said coach Taylor. "The girls were mad at me for taking the starters out and costing us the game, but that's what tournaments are for."

Camp Verde's second game was against Snowflake. It was Snowflake's first game of the tournament. The Cowboys were a bit wore down after the Blue Ridge game and couldn't keep up with the fresh legs from Snowflake. The Cowboys fought hard, but dropped the game 3-1.

On Saturday, the rain came pouring down, but it didn't stop the action at Camp Verde High School. The practice field, which was one of two fields being used for the event was shut down and unplayable, so coach Taylor cut the times of the games and the remaining games were played on the stadium field.

The first game of the day for Camp Verde was against Round Valley, which the Cowboys won easily, 5-0.

Chana Palvsczyk scored two goals, Rochelle Williams knocked in two and Jessica Regan launched a long ball from the right side of the field into the upper left of the goal for an impressive goal during the game.

Round Valley didn't put up much of a fight compared to the skilled Camp Verde team and the Cowboys' next game served as the tough one of the day for them, but Camp Verde held tough after a hard weekend and edged out Payson, 2-1.

Williams and Danielle Anderson each scored a goal, both in the first half for the win. Coach Taylor again started some bench players, including Jessica Reay, who is being groomed as next year's sweeper with the departure of senior Nicole Betz.

"Nicole has made Jessica her project and has really been working with her," said coach Taylor.

The tournament was a great way for coach Taylor to see what kind of depth she has in her bench and what different players can do. It was also a good preview for next year.

The structure of the tournament had pool play on Friday and then the winners of each pool played each other for the tournament win. River Valley dropped out of the tournament on Saturday, which helped the congested schedule on the one field, due to injuries.

The Cowboys will play Verde Valley on Wednesday on the road, then finish out their regular season play against River Valley in a double header on the road on Saturday. If the Cowboys can get the win against Verde Valley, which is expected and at least one win against River Valley, then they will snag the second place spot in the region for the second year in a row and look forward to playing their first round of State playoffs.

Last year Snowflake knocked the Cowboys out of the state tournament in the first round.

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