Three first-half goals gave the Payson High girls varsity soccer team an early lead in their season-opening match against St. Johns, Aug. 29.
Amy Wilcox had assists from Jennifer Plumb and Trista Carlton to give her team their first two goals. Trista Carlton scored the third goal in the first half from half field.
"It was the most impressive play of the game," coach Linda Gibson said.
In the second half, Megan Branstetter put the ball into the net from the goal box after an assist from Jana Knighton. Jenny Cohen cinched the win with an unassisted goal that St. John's goalie tried to block but was unsuccessful as Cohen followed it through, putting Payson up 5-0.
Gibson also was pleased with her team's offense and defense as she praised the team's goalie, Brenna Zumbro, who had two saves in the second half.
"This team is already playing better than it did last year," Gibson said. "Their passing was great."
LeeAnn Owens credited their success to good coaching,
"We have four coaches who work well together and each one has something different to contribute," she said.
The team is led by five seniors, Owens, Jennifer Plumb, Stacy Petry, Rose Galhotra and Shaina Vaught.
The ladies will be traveling to Show Low for a tournament starting today, Sept. 7 through tomorrow. They expect to be able to size up their division competition as all the teams in the 3A East will be on hand.
Their first home match will be Wednesday, Sept. 12 when the Lady Horns host Snowflake at 6 p.m. The jayvee match will start at 4 p.m.