High School Soccer

She’s listed as a defender/midfielder, but she scored so quick, her coach missed it

Meridian's Karissa Benson, left, celebrates with teammates Kailee Richter and Victory Melnyk after scoring a goal during a 5-0 victory over Nooksack Valley in the third-place game of the Class 1A Northwest District Tournament Saturday, Oct. 28, at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham.
Meridian's Karissa Benson, left, celebrates with teammates Kailee Richter and Victory Melnyk after scoring a goal during a 5-0 victory over Nooksack Valley in the third-place game of the Class 1A Northwest District Tournament Saturday, Oct. 28, at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham. eabell@bhamherald.com

Meridian junior Mikhayla Boyd, still listed on the roster as a defender/midfielder, couldn’t believe she had scored her team-leading ninth goal so quickly.

How quick? How does about 14 seconds into a playoff game sound?\

“I’ve had some quick first goals before, but never that fast,” said Boyd, whose ultra-quick strike set the tone for Meridian’s 5-0 win over Nooksack in the third-place, loser-out game of the Class 1A Northwest District girls soccer tournament Saturday at Orca Field.

The Trojans (8-7-4), a second seed, will return to Orca Field at 5 p.m. Tuesday against an opponent to be determined in a first-round, loser-out Bi-District Tournament game.

Five scorers

First-year Trojans coach Paula French was thrilled to see five different scorers, all non-seniors.

In the 13th minute, junior Liz Wilson scored on Boyd’s assist. Freshman Tenley Swope made it 3-0 with a long angle shot in the 21st minute, followed by a goal one minute later by sophomore Payton Elenbaas.

Then came a beautiful goal by freshman Karissa Benson off a perfectly placed corner kick by sophomore Emma Dougan.

“That was Karissa’s first goal and our best goal of the season,” said French, whose team came in with 46 goals and 36 allowed. “We do tend to spread our goals out quite a bit. That first goal was so quick I missed it. I was attending to something, turned around and saw we had scored.”

Nooksack goalie stars

Robyn VanWingerden, one of two seniors for Nooksack (1-13-2), turned in a stellar performance. She made no fewer than 16 saves as the Trojans constantly peppered her.

“She gets plenty of work,” third-year Nooksack coach Kevin Rus said. “She really stepped it up this year.”

Nooksack praised

The Pioneers scored three goals all season, but French took special note of their persistence.

“You have to hand it to Nooksack,” she said. “They have a good attitude. They never quit. That’s how they’ve been all season.”

Seniors tested

Meridian’s only seniors, Emily Kirkman and Victoryia Melnyk, were taking college entrance exams when the game started, but they finished quickly enough to play part of the game.

Related stories from Bellingham Herald

  Comments