Salem girls' lacrosse wins Region 4D title

Spartans controlled possession and scored four late goals for an 11-8 win

SALEM, Va. – Salem and Hidden Valley met for the second time this season Saturday, this time to crown the Region 4D Champion. 

The undefeated Spartans were challenged in the region semifinals against Jefferson Forest and the same could be said about their matchup with the Titans. Hidden Valley started things off quickly by scoring the first goal of the game within the first minute, thanks to Kacie Hanson.

That goal lit a fire under Salem, which went on to take a commanding 5-2 lead in the first half. They had goals from Libby Bowman and Madi Caldwell -- among others -- giving them a 6-5 halftime advantage. 

Hidden Valley would tie it up at seven in the second half with a goal from Meg Coolbaugh and Avery Pearson. But Salem scored four more times and controlled the ball for the last three minutes to secure an 11-8 victory and the Spartans won the Region 4D crown.

"Hidden Valley is tough and we played them over and over again at the end of last season and with the heat and everything else, we've had trouble staying composed and focusing on our skills, but we showed real patience on our offense and I think that's what it came down to," Salem coach Maggi Pace said. 

"I'm really excited for our team because we have so much passion and so much skill," Salem senior captain Mae Kennedy said.

"We have the chance to go all the way and I'm just glad we had the chance to show that tonight. I think it will give us a lot of confidence heading into the state tournament," Kennedy said. 

Hidden Valley and Salem both qualify for the VHSL State Tournament next week. The Spartans will host a state quarterfinals game Friday, while Hidden Valley will be on the road to open up state tournament play.