Soccer Coach Expects Second Or Third Seed In State Tournament

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All that remains of the 1999 campaign for the Longhorn boys' soccer team is to wait final regular season results and learn where it will be seeded into the state tournament, Oct. 29 in Camp Verde.


As of press time, Horn coach Dave Greiner was unsure where his team would finish in the final regular season standings.


"We have to find out how Blue Ridge and Round Valley did," he said.


However, the coach anticipates his team will finish either second or third in the Rim region and will take that seed into the state tournament.


Horn fortunes for doing well at state took an upswing the past week as the team posted wins over Snowflake, 11-2, Oct. 16 and highly favored Blue Ridge, 3-2, three days earlier.


The win over Blue Ridge at Rumsey Park was especially gratifying for Greiner and his charges since it ended the Yellow Jacket's undefeated streak in Rim region play and occurred on a Wednesday.


Due to a quirk in scheduling in which all the teams cannot play home and away games against one another, only Rim games contested on Wednesday's count in the final standings.


The win over BR lifted the Horns record to 4-2, one game behind Blue Ridge.


Greiner credited much of the success against the Yellow Jacket to Jeremy Conner who started the game as a stopper but switched to midfielder after half-time.


"He distributed the ball very well and kept Blue Ridge on their heels the entire first half," Greiner said. "He played an incredible game."


The coach also lauded the efforts of defense men Justin Cline, Mikel Garrett and Zack McQuain who consistently double-teamed the Jackets' leading scorer, keeping him at bay.


Plaudits in the upset also went to goalie Joey Klein who, the coach said ,"had an awesome game."


In thoroughly dismantling Snowflake at Rumsey, the soccer team had the support of a nice-sized group of PHS football players who showed up to cheer their counterparts on.


The evening prior, the soccer squad was out in full force to support the gridders in Payson's first-ever football win over Snowflake.


With David Shaw scoring two of the first three goals against the out-manned Lobos, the Horns coasted to a win as Greiner shuttled reserves in and out of the game.


Conner's two goals were his 20th and 21st of the season making him one of the most prolific scorers in the Rim region.


The Horn appearance in the state tournament will be its third consecutive trip. Last year, the team advanced to the semifinals played in Tucson before being eliminated.

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