A 5-0 win over Round Valley — the Lady Horns second victory against the Elks this season — has the PHS soccer express steaming toward the state playoffs.
The win went into the stat books Sept. 30 in Eagar-Springerville and was by far the team’s largest victory margin this season.
It was also a clash in which Payson, “dominated RV in every aspect of the game,” coach Joe Schmidt said.
The game plan was to try and get quick scores because the Elks sport good defenders but not much offense.
“We pushed strong players forward with the intent of getting the early scores,” Schmidt said. “Two minutes in, Candice Ayers scored in the upper corner from 25 yards out and then got her second goal 10 minutes later.”
Also in the PHS attack,, Elizabeth Romberger scored two goals from close range and Natalie Black scored on a header.
The junior varsity picked up its first win of the season downing RV 1-0.
During a crucial East Region three-game mid-season stretch, the Lady Horns emerged with wins over Snowflake and Round Valley but a loss to to St. Johns.
In the win over the Lobos, which was chalked up Sept. 16 in Snowflake, the two rivals wrapped up regulation play dead-knotted 0-0.
In two overtimes, neither team could score.
So, rules called for a shoot-out which the Lady Horns won 4-2.
In the game, Payson was without several forwards who were nursing injuries.
“The defense played very well,” Schmidt said. “The ball was in our one-third of the field about 75 percent of the game.”
Schmidt lauded Claudia Hernandez and Romberger for their contributions to the offense.
“They played very well,” he said.
The Payson junior varsity fell 5-4 to the Lobos.
Just three days after the win over Snowflake, the Lady Horns played host to visiting Round Valley at Rumsey Park.
Payson sent the Elks bugling home with a 2-0 loss thanks to heady play from Blanca Valdez, Becca Branstetter and Black.
“Our first score came on a cross by Natalie to Blanca,” Schmidt said.
Black is a freshman and Valdez a sophomore.
“Once again our underclassmen came through for the team,” Schmidt said.
Branstetter tacked on Payson’s second goal on a penalty kick.
The shut-out over the Elks was the third consecutive game the Lady Horns had not allowed a goal to be scored against them.
The junior varsity game wrapped up in a 1-1 tie.
On Sept. 27, PHS dropped a 3-0 decision to homestanding St. Johns.
“We just seemed a step slow to loose balls and did not pass well as we needed to,” Schmidt said.
The Lady Horns return to action tomorrow, Oct. 4, in Holbrook. Game times are 11 a.m. (jayvee) and 1 p.m. (varsity).