Although a second round of penalty kicks was needed to get the job done the Camp Verde High School boys soccer team de-feated the visiting Northland Preparatory Academy on Thursday, Sept. 9, 3-2 [6-5 penalty kicks].
“It felt like for a while there it was never going to end,” longtime Camp Verde Head Coach Dave Miller said laughing.
Generally, two teams going to penalty kicks need only five players to shoot, but Thursday’s match called for 10 players from each team to shoot.
In the end, Camp Verde’s Jose Perez scored a goal to make it 6-5 Cowboys in the penalty kick session, and Marco Lozanilla did his job between the posts to stop Northland Preparatory’s last-ditch effort to record the victory.
With the win, the Cowboys improve to 1-1 [1-1, 1A-3A West] overall on the season. The Cowboys lost in overtime to Thunderbird Adventist Academy in the season opener Sept. 8, 2-1.
Last year, the Arizona Interscholastic Association executive board voted to pass the notion that soccer games would no longer end in a tie, with the match being solved by penalty kicks until one team broke.
On Thursday, Northland Preparatory took a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute after a diving Lozanilla couldn’t save it.
Lozanilla had 11 saves on the day, allowing only two goals on 20 shots by Northland Preparatory.
In the second half, senior Cody Gray found a crease in the 42nd minute to tie the score, 1-1. Gray wasn’t finished, however, and in the 43rd minute, he gave the Cowboys a 2-1 lead.
“I was surprised, we were down 1-0 after the first period but made some adjustments at halftime and then Cody [Gray] out of nowhere scored two quick goals,” Miller said.
After a few red cards by both teams and emotions running at an all-time high, the two teams settled back down again but it was Northland Preparatory who capitalized, scoring a goal to tie it 2-2 with just under three minute to go in the match.
Neither team could figure each other out in the two 10-minute overtime periods, leaving it tied 2-2.
Camp Verde took 19 shots on goal Thursday with only two finding the back of the net.
The 1-1 record against the 1A-3A West region this season isn’t anything to worry about this early Miller said, with everyone beating up on each other.
“This team beats that team, then this team beats that team, and it goes on and on. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the end,” Miller said.
Teams in the 1A-3A West include Camp Verde, Northland Preparatory, Chino Valley High School, Grand Canyon High School, Verde Valley School, Thunderbird Adventist and Phoenix Country Day School.
The Cowboys were in action again Tuesday, Sept. 14, when they traveled to Phoenix Country Day. Results were unavailable at press time.
Next up for Camp Verde, the Cowboys will play in the Chino Cup Invitational, which is set to begin Friday, Sept. 17, and go through Saturday, Sept. 18.
Camp Verde will then return home Tuesday, Sept. 21, to face bitter rival Chino Valley with an official start time of 6 p.m.