Sports

Soccer looses heartbreaker at state

KingCo MVP Islander Radcliffe McDougald makes a chest trap during the state consolation final against Lakeside. McDougald finished the season with nine goals and seven assists and will play at Seattle University next year. - Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter
KingCo MVP Islander Radcliffe McDougald makes a chest trap during the state consolation final against Lakeside. McDougald finished the season with nine goals and seven assists and will play at Seattle University next year.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter

For the second time in three years, the Mercer Island boys soccer team finished third in state. But the 4-0 victory over Lakeside during the consolation final on Saturday was overshadowed by the team’s overtime loss to Kennedy during the state semifinal game.

“We were still a little down today because we had that game in hand and let it slip away,” said 3A KingCo MVP Radcliffe McDougald. “But we got to play one last game, and we played well.”

The Islanders held a 2-1 lead on Kennedy, thanks to goals by Derek Johnson — assisted by Jed Jacobson during the 47th minute — and McDougald, assisted by Matt Johnson six minutes later. But the emotional high that the team was on would soon turn. The emotional lift that sidelined team captain Keegan Tomita was not enough as the Islanders gave up the game-tying goal with nine minutes left in the regulation.

“It didn’t feel good,” said Islander Chris Morris. “We were all pretty heart broken.”

The teams would end up in a shootout that the Lancers dominated 4-1.

“We just didn’t play well,” said Mercer Island head coach Steve Newman. “I felt bad for the kids cause they have really battled this year. But I think we made up for it a little today.”

The Islanders determination to finish on a good game was evident from the start against the Lions. Morris earned a steal and scored on an unassisted goal from 35-feet out, putting the ball into the top left side of the net during the 29th minute.

But for as close as the score still was, Mercer Island converted momentum into points during the second half.

Islander Taylor Ward scored in heavy traffic from infront of the Lakeside net during the 42nd minute.

“We played a lot more loose today,” said Morris. “It just felt different from yesterday.”

Twelve minutes later Mercer Island scored again as James Kashima found Derek Johnson for a goal. Islander Alex Emick found Dan Strome for the team’s final goal.

But the games aside, all the players were still concerned about their sidelined teammate, who hoisted the third place trophy.

“These guys all feel like brothers,” said senior John O’Meara. “Our bond is tighter than any I have had on any team.”

Mercer Island finishes the season as the KingCo champions and third in state with an overall record of 14-4-2.

The Lakeside Lions were also led by three Mercer Island residents, junior midfielder Mark Fischer, junior reserve goal keeper Micah Larus-Stone, who played the second half of the game against Mercer Island and had six saves and freshman forward Carter Appleton. The Lions finished the season with an in-league record of 7-2-4.

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