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Despite a 2-0 start to the 2010 season, the last time the boys soccer team at Verde Valley School notched one in the win column was early September, but the Coyotes aren’t panicking ... yet.

sophomore gino lazzaro has played well so far at forward this year for the Coyotes. “We started the season so well, but recently, we’ve had some tough losses. This has been one of the closest seasons in terms of losses I’ve been a part of here,” longtime Verde Valley Head Coach Andy Gill said.

Currently, the Coyotes are 3-5 [3-5, 1A-3A West] overall this season after a forfeit Tuesday, Oct. 5, by Thunderbird Adventist Academy.

Thunderbird failed to field a team Tuesday, and since has canceled its season.

The Coyotes were scheduled to participate in the Payson Invitational on Sept. 24, but the tournament was canceled, leaving Verde Valley with four matches remaining on the regular season schedule.

“Basically, we have to win two of the four if we want to qualify for state, and three of the four if we want a
No. 3 seed heading into the playoffs,” Gill said.

The good news for Verde Valley fans is three of those four remaining matches are on the home front. Verde Valley is 1-2 this season at home.

Remaining home matches for Verde Valley include Phoenix Country Day School on Tuesday, Oct. 12, Camp Verde High School on Thursday, Oct. 14, and Grand Canyon High School to wrap up the regular season Friday, Oct. 22.

In the middle of those home matches is a road trip to Chino Valley High School on Tuesday, Oct. 19.

Verde Valley is 1-3 against the remaining four teams on the schedule, having been outscored 10-2.

More recently, the Coyotes lost to Camp Verde on Sept. 28, 4-1, lost to Phoenix Country Day on Sept. 30, 1-0, and lost to Northland Preparatory Academy on Saturday, Oct. 2, 4-1.

The recent losing streak doesn’t have Gill concerned at all.

precious chima will need to step up his game over the next three weeks if the Verde Valley School boys soccer team is to earn a No. 3 seed heading into the 1A-3A conference state playoffs. The Verde Valley School boys soccer team is 3-5 [3-5, 1A-3A West] overall.“For the most part, we’ve played good ball. We just need to shore up some of our mistakes that cost us scores. Some of those finals were closer than appeared,” Gill said.

Currently, Chino Valley stands to win the West having lost only one match while Northland Preparatory sits a close second.

The No. 3 and No. 4 seeds are up for grabs, giving Verde Valley a chance to qualify for the 1A-3A conference state tournament which is set to begin Friday, Oct. 29, at the Quail Run Complex in Mesa.

If Verde Valley finishes No. 3 in the standings, it would face the No. 3 seed in the 1A-3A South region. If it finishes No. 4, it would face off against the 1A-3A East No. 2 team.

“The last three years we’ve made the state tournament, we’ve played either the state champion or the runner-up in the first round. That was because we got the No. 4 seed. We do not want to get No. 4 again,” Gill said.

Tuesdays match against Phoenix Country Day is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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