Randy Wilcox is not a happy Lady Longhorn soccer coach.
His greatest concern is that if the Lady Horns (4-0 in the region and 6-6 overall) continue to play as they did in last weekend's Camp Verde Invitational, the squad will go one-and-out at the state tournament.
The state showdown kicks off Nov. 1 in Tucson.
"We are just not clicking," Wilcox said. "I know we can play better, especially doing the fundamentals."
During the Lady Horns three-game stay in the Camp Verde showdown, the team finished with a disappointing 1-2 record.
Payson was at its best in a 4-1 opening round win over Tucson St. Gregory, but then dropped consecutive games to St. Johns (4-1) and Blue Ridge (3-0).
The loss to defending state champion St. Johns was the team's second of the season to the powerful Redskins.
Sept. 3, Payson dropped a 4-2 decision in St. Johns.
"They might just be the best team in the state. They have the talent and athletes to repeat (the state championship)," Wilcox said.
The strength of St. Johns turned totally evident when Wilcox scanned the game ending stats and learned that goalie Kody Kepp had saved 15 shots.
"The score could have been much worse," Wilcox said.
Payson's lone goal was scored by Amy Wilcox.
In the tournament opening win over St. Gregory's, Amy Wilcox paced the Payson offense with two goals. Jenny Cohen and Krista LaHaye tallied one each.
The Lady Horn's demise reached an all-time low in the loss to Blue Ridge when the team was outshot 24-12.
"We couldn't trap, we couldn't pass and we couldn't score," the coach said.
In two early season games against Blue Ridge, Payson split, winning the first 3-0 but losing a follow up clash 3-2.
The Lady Horns have another opportunity at 4 p.m. tomorrow in Eager against the Round Valley Elks.
Because it is a regional contest being played late in the season, Wilcox said the game is crucial to Longhorn postseason hopes.
A loss to RV would mean Payson would be eliminated from the regional title chase and would have to settle for a second- or third-place seed to state.
Seeded lower in the standings would result in Payson drawing a much tougher team from an opposing region in the state's first round.
If the Lady Horns defeat Round Valley tomorrow, an Oct. 22 clash in Payson against St. Johns would become the regional championship game.
Both the Skins and Lady Horns would enter the game undefeated. Neither game Payson and St. Johns played earlier this year was a region game.