Fueled by the scoring of Efren Arguello and heady play from the entire lineup, Payson played its way to a second place finish in the Independence Day Men's 35-years-and-over Soccer Tournament.
The annual showdown, which drew six teams mostly from the Valley area, was contested July 4 through 6 on the two Rumsey Park multi-purpose fields.
Payson's runner-up finish was best showing ever turned in by a Rim country team in the holiday fracas.
Last year, Payson established a first by finishing in third place.
During the first two days of the tournament, the teams played one another in a round robin format. During the stint, Payson compiled a somewhat surprising 4-1 record to grab first place in the standings.
On the final day, the top four finishers from the round robin were seeded into final rounds that decided first through fourth place overall finishes.
By virtue of its first place standing, Payson advanced to the championship round against second place Arsenal, who had a 3-1-1 record.
The previous evening in round robin play, Payson whipped Arsenal 3-1.
In the championship showdown, the Rim country crew -- obviously fatigued by two days of play in the searing heat -- was upset 3-0 by Arsenal.
Arguello paced the Payson offense throughout the tournament scoring a team-high seven goals. Scott Homan tallied three and Jason Schwein had two. Arturo Panama, C.J. Cabral, Manuel Baez and Richard Anderson scored one goal each.
Payson opened tournament play Saturday on a sour note losing 4-1 to the Sand Dragons. The Rim crew came roaring back that evening to defeat Mirage 2-0.
In the first game on the second day. Payson blasted the Hard Rockers 9-1.
At mid-day, Payson continued its winning streak with a 2-1 victory over the three-time defending tournament champion Incinerators.
In the clash for third place, the Sand Dragons whipped the Incinerators 5-1.