The Verde Valley School girls soccer team continued their winning ways Tuesday, Oct. 13, winning their fifth in a row by beating Monument Valley High, 7-2.
The victory against Monument Valley improves the Coyotes’ record to 6-3 [6-3, 1A-3A West] overall on the season and clinches a 1A-3A state playoff berth for the second time in as many seasons.
Verde Valley will receive the No. 2 seed out of the 1A-3A West when the state playoffs roll around at the end of October. Desert Christian Academy will be No. 1.
“We’re on a five-game win streak and I think that’s great. The girls have begun to gel as a team and at the right time too,” first year Verde Valley Head Coach Catrien Van Assendelft said.
The Coyotes were 1-3 in the month of September to begin the season but the month of October has been very kind to Verde Valley as they’ve posted a perfect 5-0 mark.
Verde Valley finished the 2008 campaign with a 6-6 [6-4, 1A-3A West] overall record which included a 4-1 first round loss to Show Low
High in the school’s first girls soccer state tournament appearance.
It is the best season on record for Verde Valley so far, although Verde Valley might extend it further against Chino Valley High on Tuesday, Oct. 20.
The last regular season match against the Cougars gives the 2009 Coyotes girls soccer team a chance at seven victories in one season which would be a school record.
“Our girls have worked hard and they deserve to be one of the best teams Verde Valley has seen,” Van Assendelft said on the sideline after Tuesday’s match.
Against Monument Valley, junior Audrey Young scored in the 13th minute to put Verde Valley up 1-0 and the Coyotes wouldn’t look back.
Verde Valley, easily the best team on the field, created all sorts of trouble for a winless Mustangs soccer team.
Junior Jing Liao scored in the 16th minute to make it 2-0 which probably felt like 10-0 to a Monument Valley team that had scored only two goals all season.
Of course, Verde Valley senior players would not let the match end without making it known that it was their day, the final home match in their high school careers.
Senior Breezy Binder made it 3-0 from 15 feet out in the 19th minute while senior teammate Hannah Ahlers scored three minutes later to make it 4-0 and the rout was on.
In the 39th minute, senior Jazz Campbell scored to make it 5-0, then put the game away for sure in the second half, scoring her second goal of the match in the 61st minute to make it 6-0.
“I’m really proud of how we played. We did a good job of attacking Monument Valley and making sure we got this victory,” Campbell said.
Monument Valley did manage to score a goal against Verde Valley in the 76th minute against senior goalkeeper Emmy Davis and her defense but the Coyotes would answer.
Senior Cassi Kovac put tennis out of her mind for a few minutes and kicked the ball from 18 yards out, scoring her first goal of the season with two minutes to go, making it 7-1.
“We wanted all the seniors to try and score today. We knew it was possible and it was great to see some of them score,” Van Assendelft said.
The Mustangs did happen to score with 30 seconds left but the celebration had already begun on the Verde Valley sideline in their sixth victory of the season.
Fans, parents and teachers formed a tunnel for the players to run through afterward, congratulating them on a job well done. Even a young man playing a guitar gave his congratulations with a short melody.
Verde Valley will use the next week of practice to focus on beating Chino Valley because 7-3 looks a lot better then 6-4 heading into the state playoffs.
The scheduled start time for the Verde Valley-Chino Valley match is set for 1 p.m. in Chino Valley.