It was simple. A win for the Salisbury girls soccer team and its ticket to the Colonial League tournament would be punched.
Salisbury entered the regular season finale against Southern Lehigh a game behind those Spartans in the win column. A victory would even the squads with identical 9-3 records in the league, with the Falcons holding the head-to-head tiebreaker for the fourth and final playoff spot.
Southern Lehigh had other plans.
At this point in the season, every game is an important one when it comes down to postseason aspirations.
But for Salisbury, now 3-3 after last week’s 30-21 loss to Northwestern, none might be more crucial than Friday night’s tilt against visiting Northern Lehigh (4-2).
The recipe for a letdown was there.
On a field that Salisbury hasn’t won on in quite some time, the Falcons watched their early one-goal lead disappear when Moravian Academy scored with just over five minutes to play. Not only did that force overtime, but the momentum had suddenly swung to the Lions’ side.
Salisbury and Northwestern battled back-and-forth Friday night at Tiger Stadium, with both teams taking advantage of some opportunities and missing others. The end result was a 30-21 Northwestern win.
Falling behind by 14 points early in Saturday’s game at Pen Argyl wasn’t part of Salisbury’s plan.
But plans change quickly in high school football games. The Falcons remained calm despite the adversity and quickly turned the game around. By halftime they pulled into a tie. When the final horn sounded, Salisbury celebrated a 35-14 win and a 3-2 record at the halfway point of the season.
Salisbury’s defense kept Northwestern out of the cage for over 20 minutes of play in Thursday’s Colonial League field hockey meeting with the Tigers.
But in a matter of just 54 seconds, Northwestern scored two goals for a 2-0 lead going into halftime. That all but closed the doors against the Falcons (3-11 overall, 2-10 in Colonial League), as the Tigers (6-6-1, 6-4-1) added two more goals in the second half in their 4-0 victory at Salisbury High School.
Golf has been a big part of Josh Gray’s family for generations. His grandfather and father are both big fans of the sport, as is his older brother Matt.
Josh has just as much passion for the sport as the rest of his family, but an unfortunate roadblock at an early age could have derailed his hopes of playing golf. But he wasn’t going to let that stop him from playing the sport he loves.
Shortly after he was born, Gray suffered a stroke that resulted in his left arm being amputated.
Salisbury head coach Andy Cerco and the Falcons know that a similar start to last week’s victory over Pen Argyl isn’t a recipe for success.
The Falcons were able to respond from an early 14-0 deficit against the Knights over the weekend to win 35-14. But as Salisbury (3-2) travels to Northwestern (3-2) to take on one of the top teams in the Colonial League on Friday night, the Falcons have to get off to a faster start if they hope to have success on the road.
When Salisbury took the field last week to face Northwestern for the two teams’ second boys soccer meeting in nine days, the 4-0 loss from September 22 was still fresh on the Falcons’ minds.
It was by far the most goals they allowed and the largest deficit of any Colonial League games they played this season.
Salisbury got its revenge last Thursday when the teams met for a nonleague match and, because of weather conditions, the game was back at Salisbury.
The Colonial League golf season came to a close Monday with the league championship tournament at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course.
Two Salisbury players competed in the tournament. Junior Ryan Slutsky shot 94 to tie for 29th place while junior Eric Pennella carded a 106.
Slutsky came into the tournament with a scoring average of 81.5 for the season and was hoping to shoot a mid-80s round.