Who’s afraid of bears? Not the Salem girls soccer team.
The Spartans ended Blacksburg’s unbeaten streak of 77 straight games with a 1-0 victory over the Bruins on a rainy night in Salem last Thursday. Morgan Brooks scored off a feed from Abby Mason with 20 minutes left in regulation to send the Bruins home in defeat for the first time in a while.
“Every time we play them it’s a game like that,” said Salem coach Josh Jones. “We tied them several times during that streak, including the last two years.”
Indeed, Salem tied the Bruins 2-2 in Blacksburg in a prior meeting this year and last spring the two teams battled to a scoreless tie. Blacksburg then went on to win the Group 3A state championship and Salem was state runnerup in Group 4A.
The Spartans were the last team to beat Blacksburg prior to that streak, and Salem can still claim to be the last team to beat the Bruins after last week’s performance. Freshman keeper Katie Evans made four saves in the game, including one at point blank range late in the contest.
The Spartans are now 11-1-2 overall, as they shut out Hidden Valley at Bruce Mahan Field on Tuesday, 3-0. Lily Barnes, Kristen Honaker and Ellie Laub all scored for Salem while Evyn Magenbauer had two assists and Brooks had one.
Salem will finish up the regular season with a “Senior Night” game against Pulaski tonight, and the Spartans will get a first round bye in the Conference 24 playoffs as the top seed. Salem will host a game Monday and, if they win, they would also host the final next Wednesday, May 24.