Second-year Lady Longhorn soccer coach Amy Wilcox and her players have had, since the onset of the season, their sights set on advancing to the Division IV or “state” tournament.
But for those aspirations to come true, the team must win a season finale showdown today, Oct. 18 in Snowflake against the homestanding Lobos.
A win in Lobo land could propel Payson into the eight-team state showdown, set to begin Oct. 28 at Quail Run Complex in Mesa, as an at-large seed on power points.
Current power point rankings reveal Payson, with a 4-5 record, is sitting eighth with 30.6569 points, just ahead of ninth place Camp Verde, also 4-5, with 30.4680 points.
Snowflake is 3-7 on the year and ranked seventh with 31.4733 points.
Which means the state berths won’t be decided until the final gun sounds and even then seeds will be distributed by the narrowest of margins.
At a practice last week at Rumsey Park, Wilcox admitted she could not predict a state berth was in the Lady Horns’ future, but was remaining optimistic.
The chances of advancing increased dramatically on Oct. 13 at Rumsey with a 6-0 win over Chino Valley.
It was Payson’s second win this season over the Lady Cougars. On Sept. 6 at Chino Valley, the Lady Horns survived a 2-2 thriller.
Individually this season, Savannah Grassel, Nadia Vega, Lydia Galster and Natalie Moceri are among the team leaders coaches are singling out for their all around contributions.