Soccer is left out in the cold

Mercer Island Reporter

The scoreboard clock was stopped with two minutes left in regulation during the Bellevue and Mercer Island girls soccer 3A KingCo playoff game Halloween night. Despite the fact that the time is kept by the referee, some spectators might have wondered if the clock, the score and the players had not frozen in the 30-degree temperature.

When regulation came to an end, 120 seconds later, Mercer Island had achieved a marked improvement over the game they played just two weeks earlier when they lost to Bellevue 2-0. But when the whistle sounded to officially end the playoff game, two overtime periods later, the 1-0 Bellevue win was metaphor for the Islanders’ entire season — vast improvement but too many setbacks to win consistently.

“This sucks, it hurts but their seniors wanted it more,” said Islander head coach Adam Gervis, who finishes his first season with Mercer Island at 6-9-2. “These are the building blocks. We struggled with togetherness because of injuries.”

Making the playoffs was the furthest thing from players mind after starting the season 1-5. Injuries were a big part in the Islanders struggles.

“I only got to play the team I really wanted twice this year,” said Gervis.

The team on the field against Bellevue played stingy defense and had their best chance to score twice during the final 20 minutes of the game. At the 68th minute Mary Hill took a pass and skirted around a defender leaving just the goalkeeper between the freshman and an Islander lead. Hill hammered the ball to the upper right corner post. But the shot was not high enough to get out of the keeper’s grasp and the save left the game scoreless.

The Islanders controlled the ball with their offense during the next 10 minutes and at the 75 minute mark Ellen Haas caught the Bellevue keeper out of position. The Islander tapped the ball towards the goal but a charge by a Wolverine defender deflected the shot.

“We should have won this one,” said Gervis.

Bellevue scored the winning goal in the 83rd minute on a lofting header just out of the reach of Islander goalkeeper Kat Meagley.

“We really overcame so much and won the last four of five games,” said senior Ally Caditz. “This was a transition year and we all knew it.”

“We will miss the seniors but there is will still be a nucleus of about 6 or 7 outstanding girls next season,” said Gervis.

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