They've won in convincing fashion. They've won close calls. They've also come from behind to pull out a victory.
Earlier this week, Salem did the latter, rallying for a 2-1 triumph over Northgate in the second round of the Class AAAA Georgia High School Association Girls Soccer State Tournament on its home field at Seminole Stadium. With their latest trip to victory lane, the No. 1 seeded and third-ranked (Class AAAA) Lady Seminoles improved to 17-3 and a quarterfinals match at Thomas County Central.
Salem trailed 1-0 at the half and things looked bleak, but a sharp pep talk at the intermission got the team refocused as they netted two second-half goals to advance to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs.
"The first half started out kind of slow, but the girls really came alive in the second half and started to play like themselves again," said girls' head coach Heather Cheek.
Salem finally cracked the scoreboard when Courtney Hodges received a pass from Jordan Young and drilled the ball into the net to tie the game at one.
Later in the second half, Hodges added her name to the stat sheet again with an assist when she found freshman Karlie McCallum, who played beyond her youthful years by kicking in the game-winning goal to continue her team's run for a state title.
"Jordan (Young) and Courtney (Hodges) were both up top and I've been playing with them for a long time so I know when they're going to kick it. Just to make sure, I wanted to follow through and stay with them," said McCallum. "I got the ball and dribbled through to shoot the ball. I knew the goalie cut off my angle, so I used the outside of my foot and tapped it into the corner. That was the most important game I've ever played. For it to be my first year and playing at this level, it's exciting."