With its perfect league record in the balance on Senior Night, who better to come through for Mercer Island boys lacrosse than a senior?
Getting a goal from senior Reid Fuhr in the game's second overtime period, that's exactly what happened as Mercer Island boys lacrosse survived a double-overtime scare from Bothell-Inglemoor, edging their squad 10-9 Friday, April 25 at Islander stadium. With the win, Mercer Island improved to 7-0-0 in the KingCo DI standings and 14-1-0 overall.
On a night when the Islanders were celebrating its seniors, coach Ian O'Hearn said the game was significantly closer than he was hoping.
"We knew they had a few players that were really good and could make it interesting, but we didn't think they'd make it that close. It was definitely a surprise," he said.
The score remained tight throughout, with neither team's lead extending beyond a single goal. Mercer Island took a 3-2 lead after the first period, but Bothell-Inglemoor responded with three goals in the second, as both teams headed into the half with the score tied at 5-5. Throughout the first half, Bothell-Inglemoor managed to limit the Islanders' offense by winning faceoff after faceoff behind long-stick midfielder Jake Cartwright, something O'Hearn said was crucial to Bothell-Inglemoor's performance.
"We have two of the better faceoff guys in the state, and Jacob Cartwright is clearly up there with the top faceoff guys," he said. "We're used to having possession after every faceoff, and that was a struggle for us having to gain possession because he was winning all the faceoffs."
The offense started to break open in the third period with both teams scoring three goals, but neither team could break away from the other. Both teams tightened its defense in the fourth, with Mercer Island's lone goal coming from Evan Condon, giving the Islanders a 9-8 lead with 4:24 left in regulation.
Clinging to a single-goal lead in the final minute of regulation, the game appeared to be in hand for Mercer Island. But Bothell-Inglemoor proved to have another run left, scoring with 13 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime. With neither team allowing a goal in the game's first overtime period, Fuhr broke the scoring drought with the game-winning goal at the 2:12 mark of the second overtime.
Fuhr finished with two goals and four ground balls for Mercer Island, while senior Peter Mahony had two goals, an assist and two ground balls and senior Devlin Conway had two goals and three ground balls. Condon contributed two goals, an assist and eight ground balls, and senior Cooper Johnson had a goal and six ground balls. In the net, senior Benji Rothenberg had 11 saves for the Islanders.
Despite giving up the lead in the game's final minute, O'Hearn said his team was confident heading into overtime. While he thought Bothell-Inglemoor's goalie played well, he said his team could've had a better shooting performance, something the Islanders would have to improve, along with its faceoffs going forward.
"We didn't expect overtime or double overtime and frankly towards the end, we had a couple opportunities to put some distance between us and we didn't capitalize," he said. "We kind of put ourselves in that position to begin with, but we remained calm and pulled it out."
Next up, the Islanders will take on Liberty at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 29 at Maywood Middle School.