SALEM – On paper Salem State was a huge underdog against a once beaten Gordon College team that had won nine in a row and is ranked No. 24 in the country, but the Vikings played a solid game from start to finish to win, 1-0.
The Salem State women are now 5-4-1 while the Fighting Scots are 11-2. The Lady Vikings were coming off two disappointing losses, but they were able to slow down a very fast Gordon team.
“This was a great game and a big win for us,” said SSU coach Nicolle Wood. “We just had two losses in a row because we didn’t play a full 90 minutes. Against Framingham State we gave up two quick goals, and did the same thing against Plymouth State. We came back in that one, but lost in overtime.
“I think we learned from those losses, and came out ready today. Gordon is in the top 25 in the nation, and the girls understood that we had to have a complete effort from everybody in order to win. We don’t have any one big leading scorer; we have to do it together as a team.”
Before the game at Alumni Field there was a moment of silence for former SSU athletic director John Galaris, who passed away last week. The first half was pretty even with the Lady Vikings having the better scoring chances.
Sophomore forward Kelly Birchmore of Swampscott tested Gordon goalie McKenzie Dion with a hard low shot, but the keeper made a diving save. After intermission Salem State dominated play and had several nice runs.
Dion denied Veronica Poirier 10 minutes into the second half to keep the game scoreless, but Salem State kept the pressure on, and in the 63rd minute Beverly’s Sara Previte made a nice pass to Birchmore, who was streaking down the left wing. She fired a high shot into the right corner of the net that Dion had no chance to save. Dion made five saves in the game.