It may just be the preseason but there's already a lot to be happy about with the soccer program at Highland High School. The Lady Scots have put together 5 wins in their last 6 matches and have dominated possession thanks to a strong defense.
"The other team doesn't get to pass the middle a lot so we get to pass it on this side a lot which will create a lot of chances for us," said senior forward Payton Armijo. As the team's leading scorer Payton knows all about those chances. She's already scored 9 goals in Highland's opening 8 games.
Her biggest goal this season came this past week in a scoreless tie, on the road against Stockdale. "After a lot of chances that one goal kind of put a lot of stress off me and the team as well," she said.
For her coach, Tom Ferralli, choosing the right lineup is often a hopeful calculation. But with Payton he can almost pencil in a goal. "She's definitely put herself in that position," he said. "Regardless of where she is on the field at some point she'll find the back of the net."
It's a lot of pressure for one player but something Payton has taken on with ease as a leader both on and off the field. After the team's hot start she says their goals have changed. "I think we're more comfortable as a team so the chances are created more," she said. "It's only a matter of time where we can place them just perfect."
Payton and the rest of the Highland girls team will be playing in this weekend's Garces Holiday Soccer Festival. Dubbed the "Biggest high school tournament in the known universe" it will feature 148 teams playing 222 matches and is set to start Friday at 3:00 PM at Hart Park.
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