The Lady Longhorn soccer team (1-4; 7-9-1) finally picked up the elusive Grand Canyon regional victory it so desperately needed.
As welcome as the win was to fans and players, the 2-0 thumping of Mingus Jan. 23 at Rumsey Park won't be enough to lift the Lady Horns out of a second division finish.
Payson was almost assured of a second division finish in the Grand Canyon standings when the team forfeited Jan. 17 to the Page Sand Devils.
Prior to the game that was to be played in Page, coach Randy Wilcox knew his charges had a good opportunity to pick up a win. After all, he said, the Devils had won just two regional games in the past two seasons.
But when some team members opted to participate in a school-sponsored ski trip to Purgatory, Colo. instead of traveling to Page, Wilcox found himself short of players.
Reluctantly, the second-year coach forfeited.
By relinquishing the opportunity to win the game, Lady Horn aspirations of escaping the drudges of a second division finish vanished.
The team did, however, manage to wrap up the regular season on a high note with the two-point victory over the Marauders.
In the win, Lori Wing and Amy Wilcox scored Payson's goals.
In Grand Canyon action Jan. 21 at Rumsey Park against the Flagstaff Coconino Panthers, the Lady Horns dropped a 2-1 heartbreaker on a penalty kick.
With the game tied at 1-1, Payson was flagged for a hands violation in the box.
Coconino's penalty kick that was on target eventually proved to be the winning goal.
"Losing on a penalty kick was tough," coach Wilcox said.
Payson's only goal, which broke a 0-0 halftime tie, was scored on Amy Wilcox's 5-yard chip shot that sailed over the goalie's head. In the loss, the Lady Horns were out-shot 29-10.