Late goal lifts Christiansburg over Salem

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Salem’s Will Snyder goes high for a header in Friday’s game with Pulaski County. PHOTO BY BRIAN HOFFMAN

The Salem High boys’ soccer team is playing the best team on the schedule when they need a win most. The Spartans will host perennial state power Blacksburg Friday night coming off a stinging loss in Christiansburg Tuesday.

Salem dropped a 2-1 decision to the Blue Demons when the host team scored with just under two minutes to go in the game. The Spartans had a corner kick but it was intercepted and converted into a goal at the other end.

“It wasn’t a thing of beauty but it was good enough for them to win the game,” said a disheartened Salem coach Dean Jones.

Christiansburg had scored less than two minutes into the game to take an early lead, but Salem bounced back early in the second half to tie it on a goal by Harry Kennedy with an assist from Sabil Patel. The Spartans dominated the second half, but couldn’t get the go ahead goal.

“We had 33 shots but only seven on frame,” said Jones. “When you can’t convert, you lose.”

Salem was in a similar situation last Friday at home against Pulaski County. The Cougars scored early and led 1-0 at the half, only to have Salem tie it on a Drew Benne goal from a nice Alec Mowry feed. However, that was all the Spartans could muster and they settled for a 1-1 tie in a game they felt they should have won.

“Their keeper had 13 saves and ours had six,” said Jones. “We dominated play but couldn’t score.”

Now 3-5-2, things don’t get easier Friday with Blacksburg coming to town, followed by a visit from a solid Cave Spring team next Tuesday.

“I feel like our confidence is a little shaken right now,” said Jones. “We just have to come out and play the best we can.”