The Salem High boys came up with a big win while the girls settled for a tie in River Ridge District soccer action Tuesday. The boys won 2-0 at Cave Spring and the girls battled the Knights to a scoreless tie at home.
The boys needed a win after losing at Blacksburg last Friday, 8-0. The drive to the soccer stadium was named “Shelly Blumenthal Way” prior to the game, honoring the long-time Blacksburg coach, and the Bruins proceeded to drive over the Spartans.
“They were all fired up,” said Salem coach Dean Jones. “That was no indication of our team, we played everyone else tough to that point. We just didn’t show up.”
Jones had a team meeting Monday and it was a different Salem team that played at Cave Spring Tuesday. The Spartans took a first half lead on a penalty kick by Alec Mowry, then got an insurance goal in the second half when Sahil Patel scored off an assist from Elliot Hall. Brayden Meadow had seven saves as Salem improved to 3-4-1 overall and 3-2 in district play.
“We showed a lot of character to come back and beat a good team like that,” said Jones.
The girls played Cave Spring at Spartan Field on Tuesday and beat the Knights every which way but on the scoreboard. Salem outshot Cave Spring 33-4 but settled for a scoreless draw.
“We hit the post a few times and had lots of chances, we just couldn’t find the back of the net,” said Salem coach Josh Jones.
Cave Spring keeper McKinley Pollard had 16 saves while Salem goalie Katie Evans had one.
“That’s soccer,” said Jones. “It doesn’t matter how many shots you have, all that matters is how many go in.”
The game was the third in a row in which Salem didn’t score, and it’s been a long time since the Spartans have been shut out three games in a row. They lost to Blacksburg at Spartan Field on an “own goal” last Friday, 1-0, then lost to Kellam High at Longwood College on Saturday, 2-0. Kellam is a talented Class 6 school that made it to the state final last year, and may be the best team Salem plays all season.
“We outshot them in the first half,” said Jones.
The girls are now 4-3-1, and both Spartan teams will have a week off before they take to the pitch again. Next Tuesday the boys will host Pulaski County and the girls are at Pulaski.