The Lady Longhorn soccer team’s postseason plight might be best summed up in Dandy Don Meredith’s signature Monday Night Football tune, “Turn out the lights, the party’s over.”
The song continues, “They say that all good things must end” and that’s exactly what happened to the PHS team in a 5-2 loss to Snowflake Oct. 18 in Lobo land.
The win all but eliminates the Lady Horns from postseason consideration as an at-large entrant on power points.
Entering the fray, the Lady Horns needed a win to keep their hopes alive of earning a berth into the state tournament that begins Oct. 28 at Quail Run Complex in Mesa.
With the loss to the Lobos, Payson will probably not accumulate the points necessary to advance to the tournament.
In the gut-wrenching defeat, Snowflake led 3-0 at halftime, mostly due to a Lady Horn offense that misfired.
“We had many opportunities, but just couldn’t put in enough goals to come out with a win,” coach Amy Wilcox said.
Early in the second half, the Lobos expanded the lead to 4-0, but the Lady Horns refused to throw in the towel, scoring two late goals.
Macy Dailey scored the first goal, beating the defense to win a one-on-one matchup against the Lobo goalie.
“Macy poked the ball around the goalie and the ball rolled in,” said Wilcox.
Natalie Black was credited with Payson’s second goal.
“There was a scramble in front of the net and Natalie battled to come away with the goal,” Wilcox said.
While the Lady Longhorns stumbled in Snowflake, that wasn’t the scenario just five days earlier at Rumsey Park vs. Chino Valley.
In the Division IV clash, the PHS athletes turned in perhaps their finest performance of the season running roughshod, 6-0, over the Lady Cougars.
“This was a great game for us,” said Wilcox. “We scored three goals in he first half and added three more in the second half.”
The coach is calling the first goal scored one of the finest efforts of the season.
“It was brilliant,” she said.
“Nidia Vega started the play with a pass to Sage Pearce who then made a perfect one-touch pass to Liz Harpe who was flying down the sideline.
“Liz took a couple of dribbles and then served a perfect ball to Macy Dailey.”
Running free in the middle of the field, Dailey booted the ball into the back of the net to get the Lady Horns off and running.
Dailey also scored the second goal after a scramble in front of the net where she was able to scoot the ball in past a frustrated Chino goalie.
The coach calls the third score an “own-goal” because a corner kick by Natalie Moceri deflected off a CV player into the net.
Natalie Black tallied the fourth score on an assist from Lydia Galster.
Janelle Hauptman was credited with the fifth score and Black tacked on the final goal on an assist from Dailey.
Wilcox summed up the game saying, “It was a team effort; we had 20 shots to Chino Valley’s seven.”
Most importantly, the Lady Horn effort was well rounded with nine players having at lease one shot on goal.
“I am very proud of the total team performance,” said Wilcox, who just wrapped up her second season as varsity head coach.
All that remains of the campaign for team members is a season-ending awards ceremony. The details will be announced soon.