CONYERS - It was a beautiful evening for soccer when the Class AAAA No. 5 ranked Salem girls came from behind to squeak out a 3-2 win over Loganville on Tuesday at Seminole Stadium while the Loganville boys dominated the host team with a resounding 3-0 win.
Salem 3, Loganville 2
Leading the comeback for Salem (7-2 overall, 4-0 Area 8-AAAA) was junior Taylor Gates, who had an impressive goal on a free kick to tie the score at 2-2 with just over 23 minutes remaining in the game.
The winning goal was scored by senior Shelby Boggus on a lofted kick that eluded the Red Devils' (4-2, 1-1) goal-keeper.
"Taylor Gates had an awesome goal off of a free kick," Lady Seminoles coach Heather Cheek said. "And that helped us step it up for the rest of the game."
Both teams seemed a little sluggish starting off in the unusually warm weather as they battled to a 1-1 tie by intermission. Salem senior Jordan Young scored the first goal of the game on a header while running full speed down the center of the field with 27:33 left in the first half.
But Loganville showed its determination by battling back to tie the game on a goal by Justina Wells with just over 16 minutes left.
The Red Devils took the lead early in the second half when Ashley Veilleux scored on a free kick. That goal came with 36:08 left in the game, but Loganville would not score again.
"We talked at halftime about wanting to change the pace of the game and our girls showed their drive by doing so in the second half," Cheek said. "We just wanted to speed up the pace, play our style instead of theirs."
Loganville 3, Salem 0
Loganville (4-3, 2-0) scored all of its goals in the first half, then focused on solid defense the remainder of the game to record a shutout.
"We just couldn't do the simple things right tonight," a disappointed Salem coach Kurt Peters said. "We didn't pass well, we didn't set up well and we didn't shoot well."
Loganville got the scoring started in the first half when Seth Klepal headed in a free kick from teammate and brother Taylor Klepal with a little over 26 minutes still left to play.
The Red Devils scored again when Holland Carmichael put the ball into the back of the net on a long free kick with 17:51 remaining in the first half.
Loganville's third and final goal came with 5:20 left in the opening half when Seth Klepal scored again, this time closer to the net after an assist from Chris Rigel.
Despite the loss, Peters said he was pleased with the play of several of the Seminoles (5-4, 2-2), especially substitute goal keeper Ryan Alexander and sweeper Garrett Wallace.
"Ryan did a great job filling in for Jordan Reed when he went out with an injury," Peters said. "He probably hasn't played goalie since he was 12 years old. And Garrett played a great game. He was all over the field."