Sports

The picture of inconsistency

Islander Steven Taylor controls the offense and the flow of the game against Puyallup prior to scoring one of his two goals. - Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter
Islander Steven Taylor controls the offense and the flow of the game against Puyallup prior to scoring one of his two goals.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter

Islanders need 9-0 run to beat Puyallup team

The Mercer Island boys lacrosse team has been the picture of youth and inconsistency this season despite being ranked in the top five in the state.

The Islanders’ win against Puyallup was a microcosm of their struggles this year, despite winning 13-4.

“Half of this team are sophomores, so we are really young,” said Mercer Island coach Ian O’Hearn. “We are still trying to find our groove.”

Puyallup, which is part of a three-year-old program and in its first year at Division I, found an unusual groove against the Islanders.

Mercer Island built a 3-1 lead behind the offensive force of Jon Wettack, only to have Puyallup come back with two goals in a minute and a half.

Islander Daniel Shields gave his team the lead back on a solo goal with 21.6 second left in the half.

O’Hearn’s halftime speech, trying to wake up his team was blustering as his frustration could be heard across the field.

Puyallup would tie the game at 4-4 before the hibernating giant woke up.

Islander Michael Choe, who is one of the team’s top scorers, earned his first goal of the game with 34.9 seconds left in the third period from 45 feet out on an assist by Ian Le-Cerf.

Twenty-six seconds into the fourth period, Choe scored again, igniting an Islander rally.

The rally would last until the final horn and give the Islanders a 9-0 run.

“We need to play four quarters every game, and we obviously did not do it tonight,” said O’Hearn. “We need to start clicking and get some momentum going.”

Mercer Island traveled to Bainbridge Island for a game that pit the No. 1 ranked Spartans against the No. 3 ranked Islanders. Mercer Island lost to the Spartans for the third consecutive time.

The Islanders’ annual trip to the East Coast for exhibition games against some of the best teams in the nation also had mixed results on the scoreboard. The Islanders started the trip with a narrow loss to Exeter 6-5 on April 3 in New Hampshire, despite five different players scoring for the visiting team.

Mercer Island took on the offensive juggernaut of Pinkerton on April 4 and came away with an 8-6 loss despite 15 saves by goalkeeper Adam Bowen.

The Islanders finished the trip with a blowout victory against Ipswitch 16-4 on April 16 in Massachusetts.

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