MeridianNVgirlssoccer

Meridian's Sophia Carson plays the ball against Nooksack Valley's DeeDee Zarate during the 1A District 1 Tournament game on Saturday, Oct. 28, at Whatcom Community College. (Nick Elges/Lynden Tribune)

Meridian 5, Nooksack Valley 0

BELLINGHAM — Meridian head girls soccer coach Paula French, in her first year at the helm of the program, will tell you it’s hard to remember who leads her Trojans in goals scored this season because so many of her girls have an eye for the net.

With an array of speedy and crafty scoring threats, the Trojans showed off their team balance with a 5-0 win over Nooksack Valley in a 1A District Tournament loser-out game on Saturday at Whatcom Community College.

The victory sent Meridian (8-7-4) to the 1A Bi-District 1/2 Tournament, where the team played a loser-out game against The Northwest School on Tuesday back at WCC (for results, see www.lyndentribune.com).

About 12 seconds into Saturday’s game, junior Mikhayla Boyd scored to give the Trojans the quickest of leads at 1-0. Boyd actually is the team’s leading scorer, as the goal was her ninth of the season.

Not much time came off the clock before Boyd assisted junior Liz Wilson’s goal to double Meridian’s lead in the 13th minute. Freshman Tenley Swope added to the advantage in the 21st minute before sophomore Payton Elenbaas made it 4-0 at halftime.

"We wanted to get a couple of goals as quickly as we could,” Meridian head coach Paula French said. “When we’re on, we can run with anybody.”

With the game on cruise control in the second half, Trojans freshman Karissa Benson scored her first goal of the season on a beautiful header off a corner kick for the only score of the final 40 minutes.

French wasn’t shy in praising Benson’s play, calling the score “our goal of the year.”

If they survived Tuesday’s game, the Trojans will take on Overlake in a winner-to-state bi-district game on Thursday at Sultan High School at 7 p.m. In total, five teams will qualify for state from the bi-district tournament.

Meridian previously beat Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) 7-1 on Oct. 23 and lost to King’s 5-3 on Oct. 25 in the district tournament to end up in Saturday’s game.

Nooksack Valley finishes its season 1-13-2. The Pioneers lost to South Whidbey 5-1 on Oct. 23 to open the district tourney.

Eric Trent covers sports for the Lynden Tribune.