SOCCER: Perry Girls & Campo Verde Boys claim Oro Valley Championships
December 29, 2018 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365
Oro Valley High School Soccer Invitational
Dec. 26-29: Naranja Park
The grass was frozen, there was snow on the mountain and there was a chill in the air but the inaugural Oro Valley Soccer Invitational came off smoothly. Hosted by Ironwood Ridge, 12 teams took part this year and 16 are expected to sign up next winter for what could be one of the most competitive soccer invitationals in Arizona.
The initial AIA rankings will be released on Thursday, Jan. 3 but the Perry girls are ranked No. 4 nationally by MaxPreps regardless of classification. Playing in the 6A Premier Conference, the Pumas are 14-0-1 on the year including an almost perfect 4-0-1 mark at the Oro Valley Classic to claim the championship over Ironwood Ridge on Saturday afternoon.
The Pumas lost three of their top four scorers and five of their top eight players to graduation and that kind of loss would typically cripple a program but the Pumas are right back on top and look to improve on their state runner-up finish from last year.
Senior defenders Annika Sandstedt and Shaylynn Uyeshiro talk rebuilding from last year:
Sophomore midfielder Courtney Fernau (Brenna Alderson) started the scoring off in the championship match to put Perry up 1-0 on Ironwood Ridge and that score held up until Joey Lujan (Fernau) increased the lead to 2-0 in the second half. Finally, Sophomore Mikella Reed (Aubree Flores) put the game away with a late goal for the 3-0 final.
The Pumas have outscore their opposition 49-1 this year but the Nighthawks put up a good battle despite missing some key players to injury.
Ironwood Ridge (11-2-3) is 5-0 in power-ranking games and the Nighthawks look to be up high in the 5A rankings come Thursday. The Nighthawks made it to the 5A semifinal round last year and senior forward Isabella Santavicca and junior forward Katie Jeffers organize much of the Nighthawk attack this winter.
Campo Verde Boys (Andy Morales/AZPreps365.com)
On the boy’s side, Campo Verde beat Perry 3-1 to capture the boys championship. Campo Verde (12-2) is the defending 5A state champion but the Coyotes lost their top two scorers and three of their top four to graduation. Still, the team figures to be right where they left off last year.
Senior forward Christian Lopez put the Coyotes up 1-0 on a pass from Jorge Chavez in the third minute and Lopez added an unassisted goal a few minutes later to make it 2-0. Robert Olayo hit Shawn McGarvin to make it 3-0 in the opening moments of the second half. Perry junior Tanner Cassens (Garrett Kowalski) cut the lead down to 3-1 late in the match.
Perry (10-5) made it to the 6A play-in tournament two years in a row but the Pumas are looking to take the next step, especially with Kowalski leading the team.
Campo Verde senior Christian Flores talks the team’s year, winning the Oro Valley Classic pic.twitter.com/tXYDA2KrFt— Andy Morales (@AZPreps365Andy) December 29, 2018
Wednesday, Dec. 26
Ironwood Ridge 1, Tucson 1 (B)
Ironwood Ridge 4, Tucson 0 (G)
Campo Verde 1, Perry 0 (B)
Gilbert 0, Perry 0 (G)
Campo Verde 1, Queen Creek 0 (G)
Thursday, Dec, 27
Perry 3, Ironwood Ridge 0 (G)
Campo Verde 2, Tucson 1 (B)
Campo Verde 3, Catalina Foothills 0 (G)
Ironwood Ridge 2, Campo Verde 1 (B)
Perry 5, Tucson 0 (G)
Tucson 3 Catalina Foothills 2 (B)
Friday, Dec. 28
Ironwood Ridge 2, Gilbert 1 (G)
Perry 2, Catalina Foothills 1 (B)
Catalina Foothills 2, Queen Creek 1(G)
Perry 2, Ironwood Ridge 1 (B)
Saturday, Dec. 29
Campo Verde 1, Catalina Foothills 0 (B)
Perry 3, Tucson 1 (B)
Perry 3, Catalina Foothills 0 (G)
Ironwood Ridge 1, Campo Verde 0 (G)
Gilbert 3, Queen Creek 2 (G)
Campo Verde 3, Perry 1
Perry 3, Ironwood Ridge 0