Meridian sophomore Cameron Webster (left) battles for the ball with Lynden Christian senior Carson Janzen (right) during the Trojans’ 2-0 victory over the Lyncs on Thursday at Bender Fields. The victory gave Meridian control of first place in the Northwest Conference 1A league. (Nick Elges/Lynden Tribune)

Trojans top Lynden Christian 2-0 in Thursday’s key matchup

WHATCOM — The Meridian boys soccer team took control of the race for first place among Northwest Conference 1A teams on Thursday with a 2-0 victory over Lynden Christian at Bender Fields. 

The two teams each managed to create various opportunities throughout the game, but it was Meridian that broke through in the first half with a score on a successful penalty kick by junior Eman Martinez for a 1-0 lead. The goal came just after LC had missed a penalty kick on the other end of the field. 

The Lyncs put pressure on the Trojans throughout the second half and nearly tied the score on multiple occasions, coming up short on each attempt. Near the end of the game, Meridian junior Carlos Padila-Solis broke through the LC defense and scored a beautiful goal to put the game out of reach. 

The victory gives the Trojans (6-4-1, 3-4-1 NWC), who lost 2-0 to Burlington-Edison at home on Saturday and got past Granite Falls 2-1 in a non-league contest on Monday, control of the top spot in the NWC 1A. The league sends three teams to May’s postseason district tournament, with the top seed receiving the easiest path to a potential qualification for the state tournament. 

Senior Bryce Vandenhaak and sophomore Kevin Galiano scored goals on Monday, both assisted by Padila-Solis. 

“This is a tough league and we have a long ways to go,” said Meridian head coach Joe Spencer. “We had a good win against Mount Baker early and a good win against LC (on Thursday), but things can change. We need to finish the season playing well. No letdowns.” 

Meridian was at Ferndale on Tuesday (see for results) and hosts Blaine at 4:30 p.m. Friday and Nooksack Valley at noon Saturday. 

Lynden Christian (2-7-2, 2-5-1 NWC), which beat Lakewood 3-0 on Saturday, sits tied for second place in the four-team NWC 1A with Mount Baker. The Lyncs were at Burlington-Edison on Tuesday (see for results) and hosts Ferndale at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and Baker at 1 p.m. Saturday. 

LC senior Carson Janzen netted two goals for the Lyncs on Saturday, both assisted by junior Blake DeRuyter, who also had a goal. 

Other results 

Lynden faced a series of tough games last week, losing 2-0 to Sehome on Thursday and 1-0 to Anacortes on Saturday before bouncing back with an 8-2 win over Mount Baker on Monday. Against Anacortes, the game was scoreless until the final minutes of regulation when the Seahawks finally broke through with a game-winning goal that stunned the Lions. 

Lynden (4-3-4, 2-3-3 NWC) is at Ferndale at 4 p.m. today and hosts Nooksack Valley at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. 

Mount Baker picked up its first two victories of the season with a 2-0 win over Lakewood on Thursday and a 5-1 final over Nooksack Valley on Saturday before falling to Lynden on Monday. 

Baker (2-7-2, 2-6-1 NWC)  is at Sedro-Woolley at 7 p.m. Thursday and travels to Lynden Christian for a key contest on Saturday at 1 p.m. 

Nooksack Valley fell 5-0 to Anacortes on Thursday and 5-1 to Baker on Saturday. The Pioneers came back with a 1-1 tie against Lakewood on Monday. Nooksack (0-10-2, 0-7-2 NWC) is at Lynden on Thursday and hosts Meridian Saturday at noon.