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Camp Verde Soccer plays in three-way scrimmage with Payson, Phoenix Country Day

Camp Verde goalkeeper Preston Maynard gets ready for a shot before their three-way scrimmage with Phoenix Country Day and Payson. Maynard only surrendered one goal in his first start between the pipes. VVN photo by Greg Macafee

Camp Verde goalkeeper Preston Maynard gets ready for a shot before their three-way scrimmage with Phoenix Country Day and Payson. Maynard only surrendered one goal in his first start between the pipes. VVN photo by Greg Macafee

CAMP VERDE - The Camp Verde Boys Soccer team started off their 2015 campaign Wednesday night with a three-way scrimmage with Phoenix Country Day and Payson.

Camp Verde and Phoenix Country Day started off the scrimmage with a 40-minute period. Phoenix Country Day then faced off against Payson before Camp Verde came back onto the field to end the scrimmage facing off against Payson.

Camp Verde Forward Nate Schultz got the scoring started for the Cowboys putting one into the back off the net early in the first period against PCD.

Phoenix Country Day came back to put one in the back of the net, but the Cowboys were able to respond one more time before the end of their match-up with PCD when John Castillo put another one in the back of the net.

After a brief break while PCD and Payson faced-off, the Cowboys came back onto the field to score three goals against Payson while goalkeeper Preston Maynard recorded a shutout in his first ever start between the pipes.

Preston was a center-midfielder last year for the Cowboys before asking Head Coach Dave Miller if he could get some time in the net during their preseason. With a platoon of three or four goalies, Miller said it is always good to have a couple of goalies but going into the season Preston will be the guy in between the pipes for the Cowboys.

For the Cowboys Miller has stressed team chemistry throughout the offseason, and he believes that the team really showed their chemistry Wednesday night, playing multiple give and go balls, and passing the ball throughout the midfield.

"We've put a big effort into coming together as a team and I was very pleased with their performance tonight." Miller said.

While only letting in one goal through 80-minutes of play, Miller thought his defense played amazing anchored by his sweeper David Perez.

The lone goal that was let in came on a play where a Phoenix Country Day player got around one of Miller's younger defenseman.

"The guy just got around him, our goalie didn't take the right angle," Miller said. "We talked about it though and got it straightened out."

After three weeks of practice and another week before the Cowboys head to Chino Valley for the Chino Cup the Cowboys are up to about 30 players, and Miller is very excited about their enthusiasm for the game.

"I am very confident with our younger players," Miller said. "They are very enthusiastic about the game, and you can't substitute enthusiasm."

With their first scrimmage under their belts, a young team with 14 juniors were anxious to play someone else and get the season started as they have been working hard all offseason to get to where they are now.

Coming into the scrimmage, Miller said his boys thought they were in great shape but believes they still need to build up their stamina going into the first game of the season.

"I still want to work on the finer points of the game," Miller said. "I was very pleased with the effort from the boys though and their dedication to improving their game."

The Cowboys will kick-off their season on September 4 & 5 when they travel to Chino Valley for the Chino Cup where Miller believes some of the top competition will be with teams like the host Chino Valley and Blueridge.

"It is great company to go play with," Miller said. "Chino always does a great job putting it together, and it's a great opportunity to play against the best to become the best."

-- Follow Greg Macafee on Twitter @greg_macafee and Instagram @VerdeValleyNews

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