Lions soccer gets win over Lanesville

By Josh Lewis
Leader-Democrat Staff Writer
The Lions soccer team took their licks early in the season. With so much inexperience wins were hard to come by. But as the season has come to a close Salem came away with not just one but three wins down the stretch. Their third win came on Wednesday night on senior night. Salem almost let a win slip away, but instead responded to score two goals late against Lanesville to win 4-2.
The Lions took drew first blood midway through the first half. Trevon Smedley found the net with about 15 minutes gone from the clock. Then with just a few minutes left in the half Taylor Davidson got a goal after his shot bounced off the hand of the goalie and into the corner of the net to make it 2-0 for Salem with 1:12 left in the half.
In the second half Salem thought they had a third goal, but was questionably called offsides on the free kick to wipe away the goal from Luke Noel. The Eagles responded with a shot inside the box that found the net to make it 2-1. Less than four minutes later the Eagles scored again. An Eagle player got behind the Lions defense and put a shot into the corner to knot the game at two with 24:33 left in the game.
Salem had a chance at a goal with about 15 minutes left in the game on a free kick from Noel but it sailed over the crossbar. Six minutes later Salem got back on the board when Smedley scored off a throw in to get behind the defense to make it 3-2 with just over nine minutes left. Bryson McNeely helped to lock the win up with an absolute strike from outside the box to make it 4-2 with 3:30 left.
Salem Head Coach Bryan Putnam said it’s been nice to close the season with a couple of wins after the gauntlet they faced earlier in the year. “Due to a tough opening schedule to start the year off and a couple injuries, we didn’t get off to as good of a start that we’d hoped for. Going in, we felt like Mitchell and Austin were both comparable to our program in terms of size and experience, so capitalizing on the opportunity to get a win on the road and a conference win at home was crucial to us. Not only were we able to achieve that, but it really showed the grit of the players to come away with both while playing short-handed for portions of each game.”
A couple weeks ago Salem had a shot at a win that they let slip away against Northeast Dubois. This time around they responded with the other team made a run at them. Putnam said he liked how is team responded this time around. “I couldn’t have been more pleased with how we responded. We knew Lanesville was eager to get their first win of the year and weren’t going to go down quietly. We stayed composed and matched it with two of our own by being aggressive and determined to come away with nothing less than a win for our seniors.”
Putnam said he was happy with how some of his defenders played, as well as some of his forwards. “Bronson Allen and Elijah Humphrey did a great job defensively which allowed us to create more offensive opportunities. Luke Noel controlled the ball up the middle extremely well and distributed it to guys like Trevon Smedley and Bryson McNeely who got some good looks on goal”
Salem will travel to Madison for sectional play on Tuesday night to take on the host Cubs.


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