It was a packed house on Thursday night at Meridian High School, with four different Mustang squads seeking playoff victories: baseball, softball, girls’ soccer, and then the headliner, girls’ lacrosse as they competed in the Regional Finals. And, in what proved to be a banner night for the home teams, all four were able to hold serve.
Girls’ soccer was the first game to be played, and the Mustangs wasted no time establishing themselves on the scoreboard as Emma Flanagan and then Mia Rodriguez both found the back of the net in the first five minutes. Madie Miller then added two goals later in the first half to put Meridian up 4-0, a lead they would maintain all the way through the rest of the game as they defeated visiting Goochland in their regional playoff opener.
On the baseball field, the boys were playing host to Culpeper County, also in their first postseason game, and took some time to find their rhythm. The first three innings went scoreless despite some impressive pitching from Grant Greiner, and then the visitors got on the board with a lone run at the top of the fourth. It turns out, that tally was all the Mustangs needed to wake themselves up, as a two-run single from Alessio Azimipour began a five-run fourth inning for the home team. Greiner then scored a home run in the bottom of the fifth, and Meridian escaped with the 7-3 victory after Culpeper’s last ditch comeback attempt was short-lived.
At the same time, softball was in action on the other side of the field, and the girls, who were facing Caroline in their quarterfinals matchup, were able to establish an early lead. They got runs from Elena Clark-Wilson, Reese Mamajek, and Sara Rollins in the first inning to go up 3-0, and then after Caroline cut it to 3-2 at the top of the fourth, Rollins scored again to give the Mustangs a 4-2 advantage that they’d hold onto the rest of the way.
Finally, playing for a regional championship was the girls’ lacrosse team, and they made easy work of Kettle Run. Tessa Papadopolous and Lila Deering gave the Mustangs a 2-0 lead in the first 90 seconds, and after the visitors scored two of their own to tie things up, an eight goal run by the home team broke the game open. They led 16-3 at halftime and then 25-5 when the final buzzer sounded, with Deering scoring eight goals in the contest and Ally Campbell finding the back of the net six times. The Gale sisters, Tilly and Zoe, each scored three times while Caroline Carmody added two markers.
The girls will move on to compete in the State Playoffs now, which are set to begin next Friday, and they will play their first game of the tournament at home against a to-be-determined opponent. All of the other three teams will be in action next Tuesday, with baseball and girls’ soccer both at home while softball will be on the road. Additionally, boys’ soccer, which beat Brentsville 4-0 on Wednesday, will be playing that night at home.