Meridian’s boys’ soccer team saw its season end after losing to Sultan 2-1 in a Class 1A Northwest District Tournament match on Saturday, May 9, at Sultan High School.
In the shootout Meridian missed its first shot and made the next four. But Sultan was able to convert all five of its penalty kicks to win the game.
“We just missed our first shot and that was the difference right there,” Meridian coach Joe Spencer said in a phone interview.
The Trojans and the Turks were all tied up at 0-0 after heading into halftime, but Spencer felt the team could be better heading into the second half.
“In the first half I wasn’t too excited by our energy,” he said.
Meridian came out in the second half with a new found energy and scored five minutes in. Alan Eyoub netted the first goal of the game off a Limny Nolasco assist in the 50th minute.
“Second half we came out and got a quick goal,” Spencer said. “There were more opportunities that we should’ve capitalized on.”
In the final 10 minutes of the game the Trojans committed a foul inside the goalie box, a call Spencer said was questionable.
The foul resulted in a penalty kick for Sultan in the 72nd minute and the Turks capitalized on the opportunity to tie the game at 1-1.
“That was the momentum change right there. It took the wind out of us for a little bit.”
Heading into overtime, the Trojans were able to prevent Sultan from scoring a goal, but failed to convert on their opportunities to seal the game.
“It was a hot day. At that point we just didn’t want to make a stupid mistake,” Spencer said. “The kids played excellent and had a couple great chances in overtime.”
Despite the loss, Spencer highlighted Eyoub and goalkeeper Harjaap Atwal for their performances in the game.
“Alan Eyoub was pretty great. Atwal was great,” he said. “Pretty much everyone played hard. I was content with our effort.”
Meridian loses four seniors following the loss: Atwal at goalkeeper, midfielder Jake Birnel, midfielder and defender Alex Martin and defender Nolasco.
Sultan 2, Meridian 1 (SO)