Busy Tuesday for Meridian Ends Two Seasons, Two Others Stay Alive

A rainy Tuesday afternoon — though thankfully no thunderstorms and lightning this time — saw no fewer than four Meridian Mustangs squads in action with their seasons in the balance, with two of those games coming at home.

Girls’ lacrosse faced off at 5 p.m. against the Dominion Titans, while boys’ soccer played immediately afterwards against the Lafayette Rams. On the road were the boys’ baseball team, who defeated New Kent 9–4 to advance to the State Semifinals and the girls’ soccer team, who fell to Lafayette 2–1, concluding their campaign.

Girls’ lacrosse reached the State Semifinals by way of a dominant 21–7 victory over Loudoun Valley at home on Friday, but their next game would quickly prove to be an uphill battle as they fell behind from the get-go, and midway through the first half found themselves trailing 1–5, with their lone tally coming from Lila Deering.

Annie Moore got one back soon afterwards, but the deficit would reach its nadir at 2–7 with six minutes remaining in the period. Maeve Dodge, Bella Paradiso and Deering again did their best to rally the troops as Meridian cut the difference to 5–9 at the half, and after the break, they scored the first three goals — two from Tillie Gale as well as Moore’s second of the evening — to bring the score within one. But that would prove to be as close as they would get, and Dominion eventually pulled away to win by a margin of 16–11. Moore ended the contest with four goals for the home team while Paradiso netted the final tally, and Meridian’s season came to an ending that, while disappointing, there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

They finish with a record of 17–2 and are sure to be a force to be reckoned with once again next year, in spite of the departure of several graduating seniors.

Meanwhile the boys’ soccer team beat Maggie Walker 4–0 at home last Thursday in the Regional Finals and entered their State tournament as the favorites against Lafayette. They got off to a hot start in doing so as AJ Smith scored only three minutes in, but things settled down afterwards as there was no more scoring throughout the remainder of the half.

The Mustangs did dominate most of the possession battle, with a number of shots on goal and a few even bouncing off the post, while goaltender Inigo Diz did his job protecting the net when called upon. His sprawling save at around the ten minute mark was one of the highlights of the night, and seven minutes into the second period, the home team was finally able to double its lead on a shot by Alex Gardner.

This goal would knock down the brick wall in front of the opposing net as Yasin Shams shortly afterwards scored twice in a span of about two minutes to break things open and Diz did the rest of the work as the Mustangs held on to win 4-0. They’ll now move into the State Semifinals on Friday, though both the opponent and location are yet to be determined.