Sports

Ah nuts --soccer ousted from state playoffs

By Matt Phelps

There is one place that a male can be kicked to make sure they go down. Mercer Island goalkeeper David Addison got kicked there and the Islander soccer team not only went down 1-0 to Shorecrest Friday at Islander Stadium, but the team was eliminated from the state tournament entirely with the loss.

``This is the best season I have ever been a part of, but I didn't think it would end with someone kicking me in the nuts,'' said Addison.

During the 18th minute of the game the Scots earned a corner kick. The inbound ball made its way harmlessly to the front of a pack of players 30 yards from the Islander goal. The ball was tapped by a Shorecrest player and began to roll through the pack of players towards the Mercer Island goal. Addison immediately hit the ground clutching his mid section. As the competitors jostled for position, the ball continued to roll past Addison's head and into the net.

``I was about to go down to get the ball and I got heeled in the groin,'' said Addison. ``That was the cheapest goal I have ever had scored on me.''

The Shorecest faithful, who were as great in numbers as the Islander fans, erupted in cheers as the Mercer Island players began to scream at the referee.

``How can it be a goal if he is on the ground,'' screamed Islander Pete Cohen at the ref.

The ref conferred with the Islander players, then with the line judge, as Addison rolled around on the ground in agony. But the goal stood, ending the season short of the Islanders' goal.

``I am extremely proud of them,'' said Mercer Island head coach Steve Newman. ``There aren't many teams that go undefeated in KingCo and give up just one goal during the regular season.''

The Islanders had plenty of chances to tie the game but Shorecest goal keeper Ryan Hawkins made sure that the one goal stood up with save after save. The keeper was daring, jumping into crowds and diving for multiple shots.

Islander Chuck Vallieres, who had 17 goals during the season (just four short of the school record), had a shot at tying the game during the 52nd minute. Vallieres dribbled the ball past three defenders, deep in Shorecrest territory, before taking the ball to just in front of the Scot's goal. But a Shorecrest player poked his foot into the progress of the ball, pushing it out through the back line. That play was indicative of the Islander offensive game.

``Our mid-field didn't play up to par, but their keeper was outstanding,'' said Newman.

Mercer Island's best chance to get on the board came during the 69th minute as Adam Jacobson sent a rocket shot to the near post. The keeper leapt as high as possible, deflecting the shot with his right hand.

``Their keeper made some outstanding saves,'' said Vallieres. ``But I am proud of what this team has accomplished.''

The Islanders earned the home playoff game with a 2-1 victory over Evergreen High School on Tuesday, May 24. Vallieres came up with both goals to lead the Islander offense.

But the loss ended a season that saw Mercer Island keepers Addison and Alex Haas execute a scoreless streak of 890 minutes during the regular season. The Islanders went a perfect 16-0.

But for the seniors, the loss finishes their career short of the ultimate goal.

``I am just sad,'' said senior Cameron Galloway. ``But we had a good run. As a team we did all we could but the refs made a tough call.''

Prior to the game Mercer Island had been ranked eighth in the national coaches' poll.

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