Hidden Valley spoiled a solid effort by the Salem boys soccer team with a late goal Tuesday, taking a 1-0 win over the Spartans at Spartan Field.
Salem battled the Titans on even terms through a scoreless first half. Hidden Valley finally broke the deadline with 15 minutes on the clock and the Spartans couldn’t answer.
“I thought it was the best 80 minutes we played all year,” said Salem coach Dean Jones. “We played with a lot of intensity. We had some chances but we just couldn’t finish.”
Brayden Meadows had nine saves in the goal for the Salemites, who dropped to 4-9-2 with the loss. The Spartans were coming off a 7-0 win over Carroll County at Spartan Field last Friday.
In that one Salem went out to a 1-0 lead on the game winning goal by Sahil Patel on an assist from Will Snyder. Shortly thereafter, Jett Sable put his first of two goals away on a cross from Drew Benne. Sable then assisted on Snyder’s first of two goals to bring the tally to 3-0.
Benne scored the first of his two goals on an assist from Patel to make it 4-0. Senior midfielder Caleb Craig sent a beautiful cross in from the right touchline to Snyder for his second goal and at halftime Salem led 5-0.
Clearing the bench the Spartans added two more goals in the second half. Benne scored on a scorcher from the left side on a Snyder assist and Sable rounded out the scoring with a goal on an assist from freshman midfielder Ben James, promoted from the junior varsity for the game. Meadows played in goal to earn the shutout.
The Spartans will wrap up the regular season tonight at Pulaski County then wait to see what their fate is for the Conference 24 tournament. If Salem finished third or fourth, which is likely, the Spartans would host a game Saturday afternoon.