Mercer Island soccer tops Bellevue

Mercer Island
Mercer Island's Nate Schuler dribbles past Bellevue's Bennett Bugbee Wednesday, April 9 at Bellevue High School.
— image credit: Joseph Livarchik/Mercer Island Reporter

A couple nights after suffering its first KingCo loss to Mount Si, Mercer Island boys soccer bounced back with a 2-0 victory over rival Bellevue Wednesday, April 9 at Bellevue High School. The Islanders improved to 4-1-2 in the KingCo standings, which ties them for second place with Mount Si.

"Rivalry games are always fun. Spring break is always interesting, you never know who's going to show up," said head coach Colin Rigby afterward, noting that due to spring break, both Bellevue and Mercer Island were missing players for Wednesday's game. "It's been a hectic week trying to put the pieces together, but overall, we're very happy to win here in Bellevue."

Mercer Island got on the board in the 25th minute after a goal that was credited to Benjamin Pirie, though from the sideline, it was difficult to see who managed to get the ball in the net. Rigby said whatever it was, the Islanders would take it, calling the goal a big momentum swing for his team.

After taking a 1-0 lead into halftime, the Islanders came out aggressive in the second half, spending most of the half on Bellevue's side of the field and attacking often with shots on goal. A strike by Sean Bender in the 59th minute gave the Islanders some extra breathing room on the Wolverines as they held on for the win.

"We wanted to come out and establish ourselves in the second half," said Rigby of his team's second-half effort. "We made a few changes with our formation, made a few changes with our lineup, put in some speed and let [the players] do their thing."

Despite missing a few players, Rigby said overall, his team competed really well during their spring break.

"We had a really unfortunate loss at Mount Si. They had maybe 3 shots all game and we lose 1-0. I understand that's the sport of soccer, but I'm really quite upset about that loss. But tying Liberty and winning [at Bellevue], we'll take it."

Next for Mercer Island will be a matchup with Lake Washington at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 14 at Lake Washington High School.


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