Girls lacrosse rips North Kitsap, ties Holy Names

Islander Victoria Bachman scores a goal against Holy Names. - Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter
Islander Victoria Bachman scores a goal against Holy Names.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter

It is difficult for any team to make the transition between taking target practice and playing a high quality opponent.

The Mercer Island girls lacrosse team had to make that exact transition this week as they routed North Kitsap 21-1 on Wednesday and then played Holy Names to a 5-5 tie on Friday.

“A tie is much better than a loss,” said Islander coach Meg Elston. “Sometimes you just play teams that want it really bad.”

Against North Kitsap, every Islander on the roster scored a goal. The victory was the first time that the Islanders have scored over 20 points in one game. Last year, the Islanders defeated Bellevue 20-0 and 19-0.

“I never try to have a 20-goal difference,” said Elston. “We stalled for about the last five minutes of the game.”

The lack of competition was not good preparation for the team’s next opponent, and it showed on the scoreboard.

Holy Names came out with fire and passion, scoring the first goal of the game.

Islander Caroline Mahony took possession of the ball two minutes later, broke away from the pack and scored on a one-on-one with the Cougars goalkeeper to tie the game.

But the intensity of the Cougars hurt Mercer Island as they scored two unanswered goals.

The Islanders took a 4-3 lead when Erin Gibson put the ball into the Cougars’ net but fell behind, 5-4.

The Islanders tied the game with a minute left when Kasey Swedstedt stole a pass from the goalkeeper and put it into the net.

“I just got my stick in front of the pass and put it in,” said Swedstedt.

The pace of the game and the Cougars’ offensive onslaught was pushed back by the Islanders’ tough defense and goalkeeper Jessica Swarts.

“Our defense communicated a heck of a lot,” said Swarts. “When we talk, we are connecting out there.”

The frequency of the Holy Names shots yield a Mercer Island girls lacrosse team record of 21 saves for Swarts.

“We always have a good game with Holy Names,” said Elston. “It is nice to know that the league is getting more competitive.”

The Islanders are now 5-1-1 and at the top of their division, three points ahead of Forest Ridge.

The Islanders played Roosevelt on Tuesday (after Reporter deadline) and will host Lake Sammamish tomorrow at 6 p.m.

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