It took 14 games for the Campo Verde girls soccer team to lose and it won’t be soon forgotten.
Never mind the Coyotes were playing a bigger school in a holiday tournament final.
“They are going to have this in the back of their minds, they wanted the perfect season so this is going to hurt them for a while, they are going to use it,” said Campo Verde coach Rosie Headley.
If it is any consolation, the Coyotes lost to a good Division I school, Basha, which took control with goals in the first 20 minutes and held on for a 2-0 win on Monday in the final of the Mustang Classic soccer tournament at Dobson.
The Bears had to dodge some shots in the second half – Campo Verde pressured goalkeeper Tiana Pretzer, even hitting the crossbar late – to earn the win, a new experience for the Bears.
“After we beat Hamilton (2-1 on Dec. 17), we actually felt like we could do things,” said Jazmarie Mader, who scored the Bears’ first goal. “After this tournament I feel like we can accomplish anything.”
Basha (7-5) got the bounces that Campo Verde did not on Monday.
First, Destiny Decker crossed the ball in the 12th minute, which was tipped by Campo goal-keeper Brittney Cantino. Mader was there to shoot the ball in the net at close range. Then, seven minutes later, Destini Soares scored off a long free kick to give Basha a 2-0 lead.
“Today, to come out and score (early) was huge for us again,” said Basha coach Greg Johnson. “I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Having come from plenty of success at Dobson, Johnson is building a program at Basha that is seeing positive signs.
“With no tradition, no history there, this is one of the little pieces,” Johnson said.
The Bears didn’t get too many more chances the rest of the afternoon but kept Campo Verde from scoring despite the Coyotes’ second-half attack.
Lexie Micio and Shannon Costello each tried to create chances, the best when Costello hit the crossbar in the 62nd minute and then turned but was just a few feet wide with a shot in the 73rd minute.
It was the first loss for Campo Verde, a Division III school that beat four Division I teams during the tournament – Dobson, Red Mountain, Glendale Ironwood and then Mountain View 3-1 in the semifinal on Saturday.
“Being a D-III team playing D-I schools, absolutely we learned a lot from it,” Headley said. “But it’s our first loss on the season and the girls are hungry for state this year. So they know you can’t come out flat and other teams are going to capitalize on mistakes.”
Campo Verde lost one of its key weapons just 32 minutes into the game. Meg McDowell, who employs a powerful flip throw-in, went out with an injured foot and did not return. The Coyotes adjusted but couldn’t get the key pass it needed.
“Basha capitalized on our mistakes and we came out flat but our girls rebounded,” Headley said. “We controlled the entire second half, we just couldn’t get one in the back of the net.”