Soccer Teams Tasting Victory On The Road

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Winning 3A East region road games have traditionally been tough tasks for small-town Arizona sports teams.

But the Longhorn boys and girls soccer squads proved visitors can return home with "Ws" by posting a combined 3-1 record on visits to Holbrook and Eagar-Springerville.

In Holbrook Sept. 7, coach Roger Wholly's boys team edged past the Roadrunners 2-1. The girls squad, coached by Joe Schmidt, romped past the Runners 3-0.

Three days later in Eagar-Springerville, the boys lost a 1-0 heartbreaker, but the Lady Longhorns shut out the Elks 4-0.

In the Lady Horns' win over Holbrook, Kirsha Wholly, Michelle Wing and Ashton Riley scored goals.

Against the Lady Elks, Shanna Coleman, Panda Stackhouse, Wing and Wholly scored.

"Both of Michelle's goals came on direct kicks as the result of fouls from 25 yards out," Schmidt said. "She hit the upper corners of the net on both shots."

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Payson High School's Noel Hernandez (23) locks horns with a Round Valley player who was trying to advance the ball down field. The Elks edged the Longhorns 1-0.

For Stackhouse and Riley, the scores were their first high school goals.

Defensively, Ciara Wholly, Janet Echols, Hannah Lee and Wing drew praise from Schmidt.

"They led an outstanding defensive effort and are playing very strong in the midfield," he said.

In the Longhorns' win over Holbrook, Patrick Karlowski -- who has returned to the lineup after being sidelined with a knee injury most of the season- propelled the Horns to an early lead, scoring in the 22nd minute from about 20 yards out.

Minutes later, the Roadrunners took advantage of a Horn defensive lapse to tie the game at 1-1.

In the second half, Trent Hubbard kicked what proved to be the winning goal.

Against Round Valley, the Horns were forced to play the second half with only 10 players because a red card was issued early in the clash.

With about five minutes remaining in the game, the Elks scored a controversial goal to salvage the one-run victory.

"We were called for a hand ball on a player who was pushing himself to his feet inside the box for a penalty kick," Wholly said.

The soccer teams are headed to the White Mountains Sept. 17 when both teams travel to St. Johns.

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