Not much went right for Salem soccer Friday. As a collective group, players from Flowery Branch outscored Salem's contingent 17-1 and they used only 151 of the allotted 160 minutes between the two games the rules allow to do so.
In the first game, Flowery Branch used 31 minutes of the second half to put away the Lady Seminoles 10-0 via the mercy rule.
In the nightcap, Flowery Branch's boys scored with less than two minutes gone off the clock and led 4-0 at halftime before cruising to a 7-1 win. Both teams dropped their third region game of the year in the process.
"Basically the way we have started the last three games have been kind of slow," associate head coach Roger Williams said. "It's a pattern that we are looking to change."
Daniel Rodriguez was the lone bright spot for the 'Noles as he netted Salem's only goal, early in the second half. Rodriguez' goal seemed to energize his club though as Salem looked much more crisp and aggressive in the final 40 minutes.
"It looks like we had more energy," Williams said. "We played a slightly different formation. Maybe we had an incentive to come back from behind."
Salem fell down early when the Falcons scored three goals within the first 18 minutes of play. Salem on the other hand couldn't get anything going offensively until Kevin Miranda appeared to make it a 3-1 game with a nifty chip shot to beat the Flowery Branch keeper. But a controversial offside call wiped it away and thwarted any Salem momentum.
"It's very important to get off to a god start," Williams said. "It's a lack of concentration. There's no-one to blame if you aren't ready. Sometimes it's the individual mental preparation is what is necessary. But it came down to they just beat us to the ball. We're turning the ball over in critical areas and we need to correct that. But we have time and I feel like we will."
In the girls' game, the Lady Falcons led 6-0 at halftime before the question became whether Salem could stave off the mercy rule. It could not as Flowery Branch put the Lady 'Noles away on a penalty kick with 9:13 left in the game.