Saline Soccer Season Ends in Heartbreaker


The D1 soccer Regional final was an up-and-down thriller between two state-ranked teams Thursday night when Salem outlasted Saline 1-0 in an epic battle at Skyline.

The teams went at each other all night with both having excellent scoring chances.

The game was scoreless at the break thanks to a big part by Hornet’s goaltender Riley Behrman.

Behrman made several huge first-half saves and had a little luck when a shot off a corner kick hit the bottom of the crossbar and went straight down staying out of the goal. Salem got the rebound and sent a shot over the top of the net to keep the game scoreless.

A Salem shot rings off the bottom of the crossbar and stays out. Photo by Mike Williamson

Salem carried the play early in the second half, but like a flick of a switch, the Hornets turned things around and had several strong chances, including three straight corners, but could not find the net. The Hornets had a shot on a corner that hit a Rock defender in the shoulder and went over the net to keep it 0-0.

Salem followed with a breakaway chance, but Behrman was there again to stop the shot as the teams continued to go back and forth.

With under two minutes to go Salem got the ball down the right side and lofted a shot toward the net that eluded the fingertips of Behrman. A Salem forward and Saline defenseman both slammed into the net and the ball fell inside the post for a goal with 1:26 left for a 1-0 Rock lead.

The game-winning goal by Salem sneaks just inside the post with 1:26 left in the game. Photo by Mike Williamson

Saline didn’t give up and just 20 seconds later Luke Allen took a pass from Christian Rossi and drilled a shot that rang off the far post and out, Rossi picked up the rebound and fired it in the net, but the goal was waved off for offsides.

Saline would not get another shot as the season ended in heartbreaking fashion.

The Hornets wrapped up an outstanding season with a SEC Red ad D1 district title and finished with a 18-4-2 overall record.

Photos by Mike Williamson