Payson’s young girls soccer team face a tough challenge this season, but have already shown grit with a 2-0 victory over Holbrook at Rumsey Park on Tuesday.
The welcome victory came after a season-opening 4-0 loss to Show Low and a 1-3 showing at the Show Low Invitational on Sept. 6-7. The Horns lost to Round Valley (10-0), St. Johns (2-0) and Tucson Desert Christian (8-0) before closing the tournament with a 4-0 win over Holbrook.
Coach Trae Dunman said Tuesday’s win matters.
“We had our win during the tournament, but it’s good to get a regular-season win for these girls and continue that progress,” he said. “For this group of girls, we need some confidence boosters. And these two wins for them are good. It’ll help them progress.”
Mishayla Rodgers and Mar
issa Kelley scored goals on Tuesday, with Sadie Dunman and Jessie Cline drawing assists. Ali Tenney had the shutout at the goal, although the Longhorns’ strong defense limited the Roadrunners to just two weak shots on goal.
“Overall the girls had a really good game,” coach Dunman said. “They had lots of shots. They were working together and pressuring the goalie, which is what we need to do every game. They’re doing very well.”
Kelley scored two of her team’s goals in the tournament win. Dunman and Taylor Vaughn had the others.
“Throughout the tournament the girls really improved,” coach Dunman said. “They hit some rough patches, but worked through them together as a team. During the Holbrook game, I saw all of the girls working together, communicating, and staying strong to push through for the win. They will continue to work hard and improve.”