For the Salem girls soccer team, the 2008 season was one to remember.
With all their success, it's little wonder that the Lady Seminoles are well represented on the Citizen's 2008 All-Area Girls Soccer Team.
Salem's Jordan Young and Taylor Gates, who wreaked havoc on opposing defenders all season, are the Citizen's 2008 Offensive Players of the Year. Salem goalkeeper Kellianne Collins and Heritage defender Meredith Wilson are the Defensive Players of the Year.
The Coach of the Year is, of course, Salem's Heather Richardson, who guided her squad to a 16-3-1 record in her final season at the helm. The Lady Seminoles captured their third straight 8-AAAA crown by beating Heritage and Loganville in the postseason after breezing to the 8-AAAA South title.
In the state playoffs, Salem fought its way to the Class AAAA semifinals before falling to eventual state champion Marist in a 1-0 heartbreaker on a goal in the game's final minute.
Jordan Young (Junior, Salem): Young provided Salem with plenty of scoring punch up front, tallying 23 goals and eight assists. The junior recorded a hat trick in the Lady Seminoles' win over Starr's Mill in the state quarterfinals.
Megan Drish (Senior, Heritage): Drish tallied a team-high 16 goals in 16 games for the Lady Patriots, which included four multi-goal games and two hat tricks. The senior also chipped in six assists.
Nadia Bryan (Sophomore, Heritage): Bryan made a big splash in her first season with the Lady Patriots, tallying nine goals and a team-high eight assists.
Taylor Gates (Sophomore, Salem): Gates split time between forward and midfielder for the Lady Seminoles, but it didn't matter where she played. All she did was produce offensive fireworks, leading Salem in goals with 24 and assists with 15.
Brittany Beaumont (Junior, Salem): Beaumont was a key playmaker in the midfield for the Lady Seminoles, chalking up seven goals and 12 assists.
Ashton Tehrani (Sophomore, Eastside): Tehrani scored a team-high 33 goals for the Lady Eagles while playing center midfielder. She also chipped in four assists.
Constance Bates (Junior, Heritage): Bates started all 18 games for the Lady Patriots and tallied 14 goals, which was second best on the team behind Drish. She also added three assists.
Claire Davis (Senior, Newton): Davis was a key cog in the midfield for the Lady Rams, marking the opposing team's best player in every match.
Ashley Miller (Sophomore, Salem): Miller provided the Lady Seminoles with plenty of speed on the outside. She tallied seven goals and nine assists.
Caitlyn Cofer (Senior, Salem): Cofer was another important part of the Lady Seminoles' midfield on the outside, finishing the season with seven goals and 11 assists.
Nicole Young (Sophomore, Rockdale): Young split time between defender and midfield for the Lady Bulldogs, tallying eight goals and three assists.
Meredith Wilson (Senior, Heritage): Wilson, a sweeper, was the anchor of a Heritage defense that allowed only 15 goals in the regular season. She also contributed three goals and three assists.
Brittany Whitson (Sophomore, Salem): Whitson, also a sweeper, played a vital role in the Lady Seminoles' strong defense, which limited opponents to 13 goals in 20 games.
Emily Boggus (Sophomore, Salem): Boggus was one of the Lady Seminoles' most consistent markers in the back third, according to Richardson.
Kellianne Collins (Senior, Salem): Collins allowed only 12 goals all season for the Lady Seminoles while chalking up 12 shutouts. She turned in a superb effort in Salem's 1-0 loss to Marist in the state semifinals.
Melissa Drish (Sophomore, Heritage): Drish allowed only 15 goals in 17 regular season games for a 0.88 goals against average. She recorded 104 saves and tallied nine shutouts.
Jeff Gillespie can be reached at email@example.com.
SideBar: All-Area Girls Soccer
Offensive Players of the Year: Jordan Young, Salem; Taylor Gates, Salem
Defensive Players of the Year: Kellianne Collins, Salem; Meredith Wilson, Heritage
Coach of the Year: Heather Richardson, Salem
Forward: Jordan Young (Junior, Salem)
Forward: Megan Drish (Senior, Heritage)
Forward: Nadia Bryan (Sophomore, Heritage)
Midfielder/Forward: Taylor Gates (Sophomore, Salem)
Midfielder: Brittany Beaumont (Junior, Salem)
Midfielder: Ashton Tehrani (Sophomore, Eastside)
Midfielder: Constance Bates (Junior, Heritage)
Midfielder: Claire Davis (Senior, Newton)
Midfielder: Ashley Miller (Sophomore, Salem)
Midfielder: Caitlyn Cofer (Senior, Salem)
Defender/Midfielder: Nicole Young (Sophomore, Rockdale)
Defender: Meredith Wilson (Senior, Heritage)
Defender: Brittany Whitson (Sophomore, Salem)
Defender: Emily Boggus (Sophomore, Salem)
Goalkeeper: Kellianne Collins (Senior, Salem)
Goalkeeper: Melissa Drish (Sophomore, Heritage)
Janet Van Heest