GLOUCESTER — The Salem girls soccer team came into last night’s Northeastern Conference crossover game at Gloucester with something to prove.
The Witches were not satisfied with their opening night performance, a 3-1 loss to Bishop Fenwick, and wanted to show that they were better than they showed in the opener.
“We struggled in our first match against Fenwick with a few breakdowns,” Salem head coach Fred Day said. “We really wanted to dominate tonight and show that we are better than what we showed against Fenwick.”
With a 5-1 victory at Newell Stadium, it’s pretty safe to say Davis’ squad accomplished its goal.
Salem (1-1) controlled play from the opening whistle. The Witches kept Gloucester (0-1) on its heels for the vast majority of the 80 minutes of play while outshooting their foes 28-1. When Gloucester was able to play the ball out of harms way, the Witches midfield and defense were there to make sure there were no scoring opportunities.
“We played great in the midfield,” Day said. “The effort was there and the execution was there all night, it was a big improvement from the last game, we are very happy with the effort tonight.”
The Witches got on the board eight minutes in when freshman Tayla O’Leary scored on a nice redirect off of a corner kick. Salem would threaten throughout the first half but the Gloucester defense held strong and the score remained 1-0 at the break.
Fishermen sophomore goalie Sabrina Maciel played a big role in keeping the game close at the half recording 13 of her 22 saves in the first frame.
“Sabrina had a very good game with 22 saves,” Gloucester head coach Ali Walsh said. “The score doesn’t do any justice to the way she played.”
Gloucester was still in the game when the whistle sounded to start the final 40 minutes of play, but Salem quickly shut the door.