When the Longhorn boys soccer team takes to the Rumsey Park field tomorrow against Show Low, the players will be battling for their playoff life.
A disappointing 3-2 loss Sept. 12 in Snowflake dropped the Horns' overall record to 2-1 and regional slate to 1-1.
Because the game against Show Low is a regional show down, the clash represents an opportunity for the Horns to regain a winning record and move closer to a possible berth in the state tournament when it begins Oct. 26 in Tucson.
According to coach Roger Wholly, the lessons learned in the Snowflake loss should bode well for the Horns tomorrow.
"We plan on using the experience gained to take on Show Low," he said.
Game times are 3:30 p.m. (jayvee) and 5:30 p.m. (varsity).
In the loss to the Lobos, Mike Orozco was involved in both Payson scores.
"(Orozco) headed the ball into the back of the net off a direct kick from Andrew Karlowski," Wholly said.
After that first half goal, Orozco "assisted in the second half (score) with a pass in front of the net to Daniel Reisdorf who finished it," Wholly said.
Although the Lobos built a 2-1 halftime lead with quick counter attacks, the Horns were able to rally for a 2-2 tie with 20 minutes remaining in the second half.
At that point, Wholly said, momentum was on Payson's side. However, the Horns couldn't capitalize on the opportunity and missed several shot attempts that fell short of the goal. Late in the game, the Lobos took advantage of the Longhorn misfires to score the winning goal on yet another counter attack.
Following the showdown against Show Low, the Horns will take a break from the rigors of regional play to participate in the Queen Creek Invitational Tournament Sept. 21 and 22 at Queen Creek High School.