The Lady Longhorn soccer team has the opportunity tomorrow, Saturday, to avenge an earlier season 3-0 loss to the Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets.
Varsity game time is 1 p.m. in Lakeside. That clash will be preceded by an 11 a.m. junior varsity match-up.
The last time Payson and BR met, Sept. 22 and 23 in the St. Johns Invitational, the Jackets played their way to a 3-0 win.
"We played sluggishly," coach Joe Schmidt said.
Because the loss was in a tournament, it wasn't included in the all-important region standings and the Lady Horns remain in contention for an East title.
"Show Low, St. Johns, Snowflake or Payson could win it," Schmidt said. "There is a lot of balance in the conference this year."
The Lady Horns stand 2-2-1 in the East standings and in second place.
In addition to the loss to BR in the St. Johns skirmish, the Lady Horns lost 1-0 to Snowflake, 3-2 to Camp Verde and then rebounded in the finale to beat River Valley 3-2.
"We played many junior varsity players against Snowflake and controlled the flow of the game against Camp Verde but managed to lose," Schmidt said. "Against River Valley we regained some enthusiasm."
The coach cited Kirscha Wholly for scoring two goals during the tournament and Alexia Robles and Becca Branstetter for outstanding defense.
Skye McNelley and Claudia Mares drew plaudits for outstanding midfield play.
In the win over River Valley, Hannah Lee contributed two assists.
The 1-3 St. Johns tournament record was not what the coach was hoping for, but he's uncovered some of the possible reasons for the slide.
"I think the team has had some difficulty adjusting to losing Janet Echols to a knee injury and the distractions of homecoming week," he said.
"But, we were able to give a lot of playing time to younger players (during the tournament) which gave them valuable experience."
Following the East clash in Lakeside, the Lady Horns return to region action Oct. 3 against Holbrook and Oct. 7 vs. Show Low.
Both games will be played at Rumsey Park.
Game time vs. Holbrook is 5 p.m. and 11 a.m. vs. Show Low.