CONYERS - The Salem girls soccer team got off to a fast start against Cedar Shoals on Wednesday at Reid Memorial Stadium.
And with good reason - the Lady Seminoles (11-2-1) waited five days to play.
The match was originally scheduled for last Friday, but it was halted five minutes into the game by lightning and never resumed.
But that wait didn't matter as junior Jordan Young scored three goals and Salem cruised to a 10-0 victory over Cedar Shoals (5-10) in the opening round of the Region 8-AAAA playoffs.
With the victory, the Lady Seminoles clinched another trip to the Class AAAA state tournament and will now host county rival Heritage in the 8-AAAA semifinals at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Reid Stadium.
Salem seized control of the game with three goals in the opening 10:12 of the first half.
Ashleigh Miller started the scoring at 2:23 on a header off a cross by Caitlin Cofer. Brittany Beaumont did all the work on the next goal, burying a blast from just inside the box at 8:51.
Young completed the early barrage at 10:12, scoring on a breakaway off an assist by Beaumont.
"We came out with a quick start and took control, and I was pleased to see that because we did that on Friday and we were up 1-0 when they called it for the lightning," Salem girls coach Heather Richardson said. "I was a little bit concerned if were going to be able to come out with the same energy, especially being in the middle of spring break. But we did, and I thought we played very well."
Shelby Boggus completed the first-half scoring for Salem with 1:49 remaining off a feed from Miller.
In the second half, Salem exploded for six goals as Richardson used her players in different positions.
Young sandwiched two goals around a Taylor Gates tally, giving Salem a 7-0 advantage 14:11 into the second half.
Sophomore Brittany Whitson tallied the prettiest goal of the half, finishing off Emily Boggus' cross on a header with 11:44 left in the game.
Ashley Parker and Gates finished off the scoring for Salem with goals in the final 8:47.
Salem dominated the play, outshooting Cedar Shoals 35-0 during the contest.
"I told the girls before the game it was a huge game because our season could have been over tonight," Richardson said. "They took it very seriously, came out and played very hard. We did a really good job of switching the fields today and getting the ball through and behind the defense. If I remember correctly, we scored off two headers that were crossed in and we had at least three or four more chances. That's the game of soccer that I like for this team to play."
Jeff Gillespie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.