The 2004-2005 Payson High School boys soccer team debuted with a 3-2 victory over Scottsdale Coronado and a 3-0 loss to Chandler Basha.
In the season opening win over Coronado, Nov. 29 at Rumsey Park, the Dons jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game only to watch Payson's Patrick Karlowski dead knot the score at 1-1 about 20 minutes later.
The goal, coach Roger Wholly said, "(it) was a powerful kick outside the 18-yard box."
Just before half time, the Dons took a 2-1 lead on a kick that snuck past Longhorn goalkeeper Erik Monty.
In the second half, Payson, scored two quick goals to take a lead they would never relinquish. The first goal was scored off the toe of Lorento Yanez with an assist from Trent Hubbard. Only a minute later, Karlowski scored his second goal of the game.
Following the win, Wholly praised the goal keeping of Monty, and Kevin Murphy -- who relieved Monty in the second half -- as keys to the victory.
"They made some dazzling saves," he said.
The following day at Rumsey Park, a tired Longhorn team struggled against visiting Basha.
"The team looked tired and flat at the warm up," Wholly said.
The Horns were, however, able to stay close in the first half thanks to the stellar goal keeping of Monty.
Behind several saves by the goalie, Payson trailed only 1-0 at half time. Basha's score came in the fourth minute off a corner kick that flew past Monty into the back of the net.
In the 11th minute of the second half, Basha took a 2-0 lead on a Payson defensive miscue. About three minutes later, Basha iced the victory cake with their third and final goal of the game.
The score, Wholly said, came "with a quick touch from Basha attackers from one player to another in front of the box."
Although the Horns trailed by three goals they refused to let down offensively.
"Our attacking lineup had many opportunities to score, but to no avail," Wholly said.
Following the clashes, the coach named Ian Binney and Karlowski the most valuable players of the two games.
The Longhorns return to action Dec. 14 at Moon Valley and Jan. 8, 2005 against Flagstaff on the South Rumsey field. Game time is 1 p.m. The game against Flagstaff will be the Horns Grand Canyon region opener.