Goals haven't come in droves this season for Campo Verde's ' boys soccer team. When one or two come the Coyotes' way, coach Drew Guarneri is grateful.
Guarneri saw his team get plenty of chances Wednesday night and they finally converted one in the 73rd minute to pull out a 1-0 victory over neighboring Higley in a Division II match at Campo Verde.
"We've had trouble scoring this year," Guarneri said. "That's no secret to us. We haven't finished chances enough, and as a result we haven't been real dangerous.... We're young up top with a couple sophomores and a junior. At the end of the day whether you win 1-0 or 2-0, it's a win and you take it."
Campo Verde (7-5, 3-2 power-ranking games) was certainly the aggressor save the first 10 to 15 minutes after dropping a 3-0 decision the night before to Notre Dame Prep. The Coyotes outshot Higley (4-5, 3-3 prm) by a 2-to-1 margin. The goal came thanks to one of several runs late in the second half keyed by the speed and energy of Campo Verde senior Beau McKenna. McKenna gained possession and rushed through midfield and beyond. He found Devin Ries with a nice feed inside the box. Ries backed up, set up and the left-footed senior powered it past Higley keeper Nicolas Self.
"We had a great year last year," Guarneri said of the squad that posted a 20-3-1 mark "This team is better in the field of play. Knocks the ball better. But we don't have that guy who scores consistently."
Self did a fine job in goal for Higley He collected 11 saves and was under intense pressure in the second half, especially a 15-minute span prior to Campo Verde's goal. Briley Guarneri earned the shutout for Campo Verde. He finished with six saves and showed a strong leg on line-drive goal kicks that covered half the field or a little better.
"I was happy with the way we played, thought we played pretty well," Higley coach Ed Waller said. "We held our own. Nic definitely kept us in the game. I told them they can't hang their heads. Not when you lose to a quality team 1-0."