CONYERS - A penalty kick provided the only scoring in the boys soccer game while the Salem girls showed why they are the No. 5 ranked team in Class AAAA with a 6-0 win over Apalachee on Tuesday.
Unfortunately for the No. 9 ranked Salem boys (4-2 overall, 1-1 Area 8-AAAA), they were on the wrong end of the 1-0 game against Apalachee.
In the girls game, Salem's Taylor Gates put the Lady Seminoles in the lead after beating several Lady Wildcats defenders seven minutes into the game.
The Lady Seminoles had at least four other scoring opportunities slip through their hands but that ended with 17:22 left in the opening half.
That was when Jordan Young squeezed the ball through a 3-foot gap between the post and the keeper to make it 2-0.
Even though Salem had two more legitimate shots for goals, the girls were always attacking and never giving up.
"It takes a while to get things together sometimes," Salem girls coach Heather Cheek said.
After a sluggish first half, the Salem girls made up for it scoring four goals in the second half.
Gates scored the first goal of the second half blasting the ball past a flat-footed Apalachee keeper 18 minutes into the half.
Less than 30 seconds later, Ashley Miller found the back of the net to make it 4-0.
Gates scored her third goal of the game with 14:07 left to play after taking a pass from Alayna Smith and beating two defenders.
Three was not enough for Gates, who scored her fourth goal, with an assist from Emily Boggus, to make it 6-0 with 45 seconds on the clock.
"She's an excellent defender, an excellent midfielder, an excellent forward," Cheek said. "She does an excellent job no matter where she plays."
The Lady Wildcats had chances to score in the second half but Salem keeper Hannah Holmes was able to prevent a goal at least three times, including a penalty kick by Shelby Caryle.
While the Lady Seminoles were passing the ball, receiving the ball and playing well, the same cannot be said about the Salem boys.
Throughout the game passes were being made but either no one was there to get them or the pass was stolen by Apalachee.
"We haven't played in four days," Salem boys coach Kurt Peters said. "We weren't ready."
Despite the poor passing, Salem stayed on the attack for most of the game even though it was unable to penetrate the Wildcats' defense.
As the game progressed, Salem began breaking through the Apalachee defense as Jacob Young and Kwasi Yankey had several opportunities to score.
However, their shots were just outside the frame and the Wildcats' keeper made some great saves.
Also having great saves on the night was Salem's Trent Carpenter.
Despite giving up the goal on an Adam Porter penalty kick 14 minutes into the game, Porter attacked the ball both inside and outside the goalie box.
Carpenter became a sweeper-keeper almost by necessity.
"They kept getting behind our defense and it's concerning," Peters said. "All we can do is learn from it and then forget about it. It's still early in the season."
Manny Fils can be reached at email@example.com.