CONYERS - Salem's soccer squads collected a split Monday night against Grady in two well played and tightly contested games at Evans Memorial Stadium.
The Salem girls prevailed 2-0 in the opener, while Grady edged the Salem boys 1-0 in the nightcap.
Salem 2, Grady 0
The Lady Seminoles moved to 4-0 on the season with a 2-0 win over Grady.
Ten minutes in, Taylor Gates took a pass from Brittany Beaumont and buried it into the back of the net to put the Lady Seminoles up 1-0.
Beaumont also set up the second score, finding Jordan Young for the goal with two minutes left in the match.
Two scores were enough on a night when the Salem defense stifled Grady.
Grady's first real scoring opportunity came off a corner kick with 30 minutes left in the game, but Salem keeper Kellianne Collins batted the ball away.
Salem's scoring chances far outnumbered Grady in a game in which the Lady Seminoles controlled the tempo and possessed the ball.
Salem girls coach Heather Richardson was pleased with the win, although she thought her team could have put together a more complete game.
"We did really well the first 15 minutes and the last 10 minutes of the game - and that's not just because that's when we scored our goals. I thought we came out strong and we finished strong," Richardson said. "We were a little out of control during the middle part of the game, but overall, I thought we played pretty well. We passed the ball well and we got behind their (Grady's) defense. We used our outside midfielders and we had good distribution from our central players. We created a lot of scoring opportunities."
Richardson also complimented the play of the defense.
"Our defense played very well and limited the number of scoring opportunities," she said. "When they did get a shot on goal, Kellianne (Collins) did a good job in goal of not letting them score."
Salem 0, Grady 1
The Salem boys went toe-to-toe against against one of Class AAA's top squads, but the Seminoles were edged by the Knights 1-0.
Salem possessed the ball and had several promising scoring situations, however, the Seminoles weren't able to get off uncontested shots on goal. When they were, the shot was either off the mark or was swallowed up by the keeper.
There was strong goalie play on both sides as Salem's Trent Carpenter made several big saves. His best two came within five seconds off each other. The first was on a slide, the second on a dive to preserve the scoreless tie.
The game's only goal came with 22 minutes left.
Both Salem squads hit the field again today at Reid Memorial stadium. The boys begin at 5:30 p.m. with the girls game to follow.
Brandon Evans can be reached at email@example.com.