The mighty Longhorns added another notch in their belts when the girls and boys soccer teams downed the Show Low Cougars Wednesday at Rumsey Park.
The girls match was the very definition of lopsided as Payson kept the ball near the Cougars' goal throughout most of the game. Payson scored two goals early in the first half on a goalie who struggled against a non-stop stream of shots at the net.
Superior ball-handling skills also played in favor of the Lady Longhorns as Payson repeatedly maneuvered around Cougar defenders like a teenager doing battle in the Senior Olympics. At half time, Payson was up 4-0, but the second half would prove to be a little tougher for the Lady Longhorns.
Second-half action saw Payson utilizing a number of second stringers who proved to be just as tough defensively as the starters. While Show Low was able to move the ball into Payson's end of the field, there were still few shots on goal.
The few shots that did occur were easily handled by Payson goalie Brenna Zumbro.
Payson penetrated the net only one more time during the remainder of the game, but the Longhorn defense held tough, ending the game with a score of 5-0.
Boys varsity action was also a great display of Payson's athletic prowess, but it wasn't an easy stroll to victory. It was an evenly matched game which saw Payson's determination rise to the occasion.
In the first half of action Payson and Show Low each exchanged goals tying it up 1-1 at the half. The majority of action was not seen near the goals, but rather in numerous heated battles for control of the ball throughout the rest of the field.
The second half was where Payson lost all signs that it was a fairly young team, and began to play with fierce determination.
The home team began to dominate on both ends of the field. Superior passing accuracy and communication lead to the two Payson goals in the second half, but the real story late in the game was defense. This was made even more significant by the fact that Show Low played exceptionally hard and stayed in the game to the very end. Show Low's toughness proved to be insufficient to garner them a win.
When time ran out, the Longhorns were on top 3-1.
The boys and girls now take soccer action on the road with the boys visiting Round Valley Saturday and the girls doing tournament battle Friday (today) and Saturday in Camp Verde.
The road action continues next week with the boys playing in Sedona Monday, and Blue Ridge Wednesday. Girls varsity action will return to Payson next Wednesday as they look to extend their winning streak with a tough match against Blue Ridge.