While it will take an unlikely scenario for the Longhorn boys soccer team to qualify for state, the Lady Horns are bound for the postseason.
The boys’ woes can be blamed on a late-season swoon, which included a 2-1 loss to Show Low and 7-0 loss to East Region leader Blue Ridge.
Coach Chad Gower summed up the Horns’ (10-8, 3-3) chances for a state seed saying, “We have to win Wednesday (Oct. 22) against Holbrook, and Snowflake has to lose against Round Valley.”
That scenario appears about as likely as Shaq leading the NBA in free throws.
“So (a state berth) does not look likely, but I have seen crazier things happen,” Gower said.
Round Valley’s chances of upsetting Snowflake are bleak, because the Elks have some players suspended due to a marijuana incident that occurred when the team was in Payson last month for the invitational tournament.
Meanwhile, the PHS girls team is assured of a trip to state but will play today (Oct. 21) against Holbrook (0-11, 0-9) at Rumsey Park.
The Lady Horns (6-7; 5-5) have one win over the Roadrunners this year having beaten them 3-1 on Oct. 4 in Holbrook. Since that game, the Lady Horns have lost 2-0 to region-leading Blue Ridge (12-1, 5-0) but rebounded Oct. 18 at Rumsey to defeat Snowflake, 1-0.
That defeat dropped the Lobos into fifth place in the East standings.
“We controlled the ball and flow of the game, but were unable to score until the final two minutes when Tanya Olsen beat the Snowflake keeper one-on-one after a 40-yard breakaway,” said coach Joe Schmidt.
Although state tournament seedings are not official, Schmidt predicts “we will be going to the state tournament as a No. 4 seed and we should face either Desert Christian or Chino Valley in the first round.”
Payson has not faced Desert Christian this year, but beat homestanding Chino Valley 2-1 on Sept. 5.
Game time for the boys team tomorrow at Rumsey against Holbrook is 6 p.m.
Today at Rumsey, the girls varsity game kicks off at 7 p.m. Both the boys and girls games will be preceded two hours earlier by junior varsity clashes.