Phantoms secure trip to state playoffs<br>

Eddie Tobin races for the ball during last Saturday’s varsity soccer game against Camp Verde.

He said that the team has overcome its shallow bench with its determination and teamwork as was proved in the game against Sedona.

“We only had 11 players but they played their hearts out,” Coach Hunter said.

He had similar praise for his team following last Saturday’s game, telling the players, “you did an awesome, awesome job. They had subs going in and out and you guys just went out and battled them.”

Ash Fork

The Ash Fork game was hard-fought as well, Coach Hunter said.

“It was a tough game,” he said. “We were missing players who were sick or injured and we had to move some around but they played like a team.”

In that game, Justin Kremer scored the first goal with an assist by Ryan Eck in the 21st minute of the first quarter. Ash Fork’s Jared Renko tied the game in the second minute of the second quarter.

Eight minutes into overtime, Jesse Hunter scored the winning goal with an assist by Jeff Tower.

Camp Verde

In the game against Camp Verde, the Phantoms came from two behind in the 30th minute when Kremer scored unassisted. Three minutes later, the Phantoms tied the game with a goal by Miles Hunter, assisted by Eck.

The score stood tied at 2 all when regulation play began. Camp Verde’s Seth McCabe scored his second goal of the game nine minutes into overtime with an assist by Trevor Hammond. His first goal was assisted by Andy Brooks, who also scored the game’s first goal, assisted by McCabe.

Miles Hunter tied the game in overtime with an assist by Tower.

Sedona

The game against Sedona was tight, with the score at 1-1 at the half, and 2-2 at the end of regulation play.

Kremer struck first, scoring with an assist by Tower nine minutes into the game. Sedona’s Grayson Selby tied it with a goal at the 28th minute.

In the second half of the game, it was Tower’s turn to score with an assist by Kremer. The game stayed at 2-1 until the last minute, when Selby scored on a penalty kick.

The teams played two 10-minute periods. The Phantoms broke the tie early with a goal by Eck and assist by Eddie Tobin four minutes into the first overtime. Tower added one more two minutes into the second overtime, with an assist by David Robinson.

“Their playing was excellent,” said Coach Hunter. “It was a great win, winning against a school like Sedona.”

The team not only beat Sedona but they did it with almost no bench and some shuffling of positions. Kevin Beckerleg moved from midfield to defense, Eck from outside hitter to middle hitter, and Jackie Wren as a starter.

Wren and Tobin both played hard, Coach Hunter said.

“They’re our two smallest players, but they really frustrated the other team,” he said.

While the Sedona game sealed the deal for a trip to state, the games with Ash Fork and Camp Verde will help determine where the team is seeded in the playoffs.

The Phantoms host Chino Valley on Friday and travel to Camp Verde on Saturday.

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