COEUR d’ALENE — Lake City senior midfielder Nolan Meehan has enjoyed everything about his final season with his friends.
The wins. The road trips.
And while Meehan scored the opening goal, it took each of his teammates to get a few more days together starting next Thursday in the state 5A soccer tournament.
Meehan scored the lone goal of the first half for the Lake City Timberwolves in a 3-0 win over the Coeur d’Alene Vikings in the 5A Region 1 championship match, advancing to state for the second time in three seasons.
As for that first goal by Meehan, it happened with a little help from his friends.
“My friend Keaton (Murphree) crossed it over the goal and left it for me and I was able to put it away,” Meehan said. “Really, the best part of the season has been hanging out with my friends and going undefeated and playing with a common goal.”
Lake City (14-0) opens at state next Thursday against Boise (16-2-1) at 1 p.m. PDT at the Idaho Falls Soccer Complex.
“We definitely set a goal for ourselves to get to this point,” Meehan said. “We felt we could get here if we continued to work at it and kept our heads up. Coeur d’Alene doesn’t give up and has a lot of skill on their team.”
Murphree scored in the 51st minute to give Lake City a 2-0 lead in the second half.
“It was very important because I wanted to stay unbeaten for the entire season,” Murphree said. “I’m really proud of my teammates for getting that done. We just work together as a unit pretty good and have played club ball with each other for years, so it’s really exciting to get to keep playing with this group.”
Lake City outscored its opponents 6-0 in regionals, claiming the program’s first regional title since 2015.
“I’ve got a team that will never quit,” third-year Lake City coach Alan Rich said. “Never. We’ve had five come-from-behind victories and we’re very fit this year. We had 19 goals in the last 10 minutes of games. But the fact I’ve got a mature and competitive group that never quits. And we’ve really got good team chemistry, and they really enjoy playing with each other.”
Lake City outshot Coeur d’Alene 8-3 in the match.
“We play a lot of the same teams with a small district and they get to see a lot of your different looks,” Rich said. “We went into the match with defensive strategy. I knew we had plenty of scoring firepower — we have all year — so I wanted to stop their attack and counter attack and limit their opportunities.”
Cooper Proctor had five saves for Coeur d’Alene (9-4), which has lost three times to Lake City this year.
“Honestly, it just felt like we were playing ourselves out there,” first-year Coeur d’Alene coach Braden Ridgewell said. “Mentally, we weren’t there. Our week of practices, the one thing we wanted to hone in on was being mentally strong, and if something doesn’t go our way, we get back, fight and win. And that didn’t happen today. If I’m frustrated about anything, it’s the way we played, not the team on the other side.”
Coeur d’Alene will face Skyview (6-9-4) in Saturday’s play-in match at Lewiston.
“We need to wake up and put this thing into full throttle,” Ridgewell said. “If we’re going to make this thing, it has to start now. It’s a good wakeup call I suppose.”
First half — 1, LC, Nolan Meehan (Keaton Murphree), 35:00. Second half — 2, LC, Murphree (Jacob Janzen), 51:00. 3, LC, Greyden Lee (Janzen), 68:00.
Shots on goal — Cd’A 3, LC 8.
Saves — Cd’A, Cooper Proctor 5; LC, Chase Norris 3.