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Girls soccer tied with Bellevue for division lead
Two days after losing its first game of the season, the Mercer Island girls soccer team traveled to Juanita High School, looking to get back on track. But the team struggled to connect on scoring opportunities and a lapse on defense resulted in a 1-1 tie.
“We have not been able to put teams away,” said Islander coach Adam Gervis. “We just haven’t learned how to shut out teams.”
Against the Rebels, Mercer Island’s defense rose to the challenge during the first 78 minutes of the game. The Islander offense had many chances to take the lead but finally connected on a two-pass goal during the 76th minute of the game.
The play developed as Mercer Island sophomore Tara Nielson sent a cross-field pass to Kara Lungmus. As the defense adjusted, Lungmus sent a pass and not a shot to the inside of the goal box where junior Ellen Haas tapped the ball with her foot. It dribbled into the net for the first score of the game.
“I saw it coming and just tried to stick out my foot,” said Haas. “A goal is a goal.”
Despite Juanita’s 2-4-1 record, the team’s goalkeeper, Katherine Boone, is one of the best in the state.
“She is just phenomenal, and Ellen has scored on her twice this year,” said Gervis.
The score sent the Mercer Island bench into a frenzy of happiness and relief. Gervis reminded his team to clamp down on defense to retain the shutout. A breakaway and a soft shot to the right post of the Mercer Island goal inside two minutes tied the game, sending it to overtime.
Neither team was able to score during the two five-minute periods, as the Islanders tied for the second time this season.
The Islanders were handed their first loss of the season on Thursday, as Bellevue controlled the entire game 3-0. The win allowed Bellevue to temporarily leap over Mercer Island in the standings to take possession of first place. But the tie against Juanita left the Islanders and Wolverines tied for first place with Mount Si just four points back.
Mercer Island hosted the Wildcats on Tuesday (after Reporter deadline). The Islanders will travel to Liberty on Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. game.