Back on September 7, the Salisbury girls’ tennis team lost a close 3-2 decision against Saucon Valley. Falcon head coach Rob Benson believed at the time that his team was more than capable of defeating the Panthers.
Nearly two weeks later, the Falcons were able to get some revenge. Salisbury (8-6 overall; 5-5 in Colonial League) was on the other end of a 3-2 decision this time around when it defeated Saucon Valley on Friday evening on its home courts.
This is head coach Mark Allinson’s 25th season leading the Salisbury boys’ soccer team. The Falcons entered this season more or less like many others—with a solid 30 or so players on the roster.
But the 2019 season has turned out to be unlike any other during Allinson’s tenure. With the midpoint of the season behind Salisbury, Allinson is now without eight starters for a Falcon team that has won just two games this fall.
From one extreme to the next, the Salisbury defense is tasked with focusing on a whole new game plan this week when the Falcons (3-2) travel to Catasauqua to take on the winless Rough Riders on Friday night.
After spending a week preparing for Notre Dame’s quick-throw spread aerial offense, Catasauqua presents a new set of challenges. The Rough Riders’ triple-option offense is a type of offense that the Falcons have not seen in 2019.
Salisbury senior Olivia Hoeing faced a health scare last winter that forced her to miss the entire basketball season. She was able to return to club soccer for Parkland Area Soccer Club around March.
But now she’s back on the field wearing her true blue and white colors, leading the Lady Falcons to a stellar fall season on the pitch. She scored a goal and assisted on another in Salisbury’s 4-0 win over Palmerton over the weekend.
Last week’s matchup in the trenches was undoubtedly a difficult challenge for Salisbury. But Week 5 might present an even tougher encounter for the Falcon football team.
The Falcons return home for their third home game of the season at Salisbury High School, but will have to deal with the big offensive and defensive lines from Notre Dame (Green Pond). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Friday night, which will be another game in which proceeds will be raised for pediatric cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Saucon Valley ran the ball on 45 of its 47 offensive plays last Thursday night. And Salisbury head coach Andy Cerco knew heading into the game that would likely be the case.
The only problem was the Falcons couldn’t find an answer for the Panthers’ ground game.
Saucon Valley (3-1) ran for 444 yards and averaged over nine yards per carry in its 41-22 victory over Salisbury last week on the Panthers’ home field. Both of the Panthers’ passes were incomplete.
A week after seemingly everything went against Salisbury during last week’s game, the Falcons will look to get back on track in Week 3 when they return home to host Wilson (1-1).
In the Falcons’ 38-17 loss to Northwestern last Thursday, Salisbury committed 15 penalties for 120 yards, and lost starting quarterback Trey Weber on the first series due to injury.
With a long week of preparation underway, Salisbury hopes to get back in the win column when the Warriors visit for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Friday night.
Salisbury’s top two goal scorers last season combined for 41 goals and 24 assists. Unfortunately for head coach Rick Babyak, both have graduated and leave a major void in the scoring department.
Forward Rylee Donaldson (now playing at Bucknell University) and midfielder Erica Holben are the two main graduates that must be replaced from last year’s team that finished 13-5-2 (8-2-2 in Colonial League) and fell in the District 11 Class 2A semifinal round. Donaldson led the Lady Falcons with 24 goals and 14 assists in 2018, while Holben added 17 goals and 10 assists.
Shane Artis has been to the PIAA Cross Country Championships in each of the past two seasons. He has progressed each year. After coming in 60th place as a sophomore back in 2017, Artis then came in 59th last season with a time of 18:04 at Hershey Park.
Salisbury had three golfers place in the top 50 at last year’s Colonial League Golf Championships at Bethlehem Golf Club. Fortunately for coaches Gregg Laub and Kelly Wetherhold, the top two are returning this fall for the Falcons’ golf team.
Tanner Ruth and Alex Suter were the Falcons’ top two players a season ago, and are now in the midst of their senior seasons leading the Salisbury team on the links.
Last season, Ruth shot a 99 and placed in a tie for 42nd at the league meet, while Suter shot a 108 for 49th place.