After absorbing a season-opening 4-2 loss from defending state champion St. Johns, the Lady Longhorns will have the opportunity tomorrow (Wednesday) to chalk up their first victory of the campaign.
At 4 p.m. on the multipurpose field at Rumsey Park, coach Randy Wilcox' charges play host to the Blue Ridge Yellow Jacket.
The coach is predicting a barn burner against the region rival.
"Last year at their place, we only beat them 1-0," he said. "Once again they will be a tough team to beat."
What makes the team's challenge even tougher is the fact the squad might be without the services of standout Trista Carlton. In the loss to the Redskins Sept. 3 in St. Johns, Carlton was sidelined midway through the game with a twisted ankle.
"We still don't know if she will be ready (tomorrow)," the coach said. "It's day to day with her."
Although the team began the season with a loss, Wilcox was not disappointed in the team's effort.
"We played hard against a veteran team," he said. "They are the defending (state) champs."
After St. Johns took a 2-0 lead in the first half, Payson came roaring back to close it to 2-1 on a steal and dribble shot from Megan Branstetter. St. Johns rebounded to take a 3-1 lead but Payson closed it to 3-1 on Kelsea Palace's score. But the Redskins chalked up an insurance goal late in the game to fend off any upset.
Sept. 13 and 14, the Lady Horns travel to Tucson where they will participate in the St. Gregory Invitational Tournaments. Game times will be announced late this week.