Meridian’s boys’ soccer team scored all of its goals in the second half to take a 4-2 Northwest Conference win over Mount Baker on Saturday, April 25, at Mount Baker in a game between two 1A teams fighting for a district playoff spot.
The Mountaineers scored a pair of goals in the first 15 minutes of the game, and maintained the lead going into halftime. After a spirited halftime speech, the Trojans came out and scored four straight goals in a span of about 11 minutes.
“We came out so flat,” Meridian coach Joe Spencer said in a phone interview. “It was a make-or-break game. If we lose we have no shot at districts, and the kids knew that coming in and I think they were a bit embarrassed like I was because Mount Baker took it to us. I challenged them and said this is your last opportunity. We just watched them play twice or three times as hard as we did. It’s not about soccer, it’s about how hard you want to try.”
Alan Eyoub, Jake Birnel, Jordan Birnel and Anthony Morales scored for Meridian, with Alex Klykov adding two assists and Jordan Birnel pitching in another.
“Jake took control of the game,” Spencer said. “He was everywhere in the second half. He really was our engine, and he usually is, but that second half there wasn’t any offensive or defensive play that he wasn’t in on.”
Meridian takes on Squalicum next at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, at home, while Baker hosts Ferndale at 4:30 p.m the same day as the two teams jockey to make it into the district playoffs.
Meridian 4, Mount Baker 2
Goal: n/a (MB), time 10; Goal: n/a (MB), time 15; Goal: Alan Eyoub (Meridian), assist: Alex Klykov, time 45; Goal: Jake Birnel (Meridian), time 49; Goal: Jordan Birnel (School), assist: Alex Klykov, time 53; Goal: Anthony Morales (Meridian), assist: Jordan Birnel, time 56. Goalies (saves) — Meridian: Harjaap Atwall (n/a); Mount Baker: Devin Robbins (n/a). Shots on goal — no information provided.