Girls lacrosse ousted by Lions - Season ends in semifinals

By Matt Phelps

The seniors on the Mercer Island girls lacrosse team have seen everything that sports has to offer. After all, this is the class that endured a season of no wins and then climbed to become one of the most dominating teams in the state.

But their quest to finish with a state title came up two steps short May 17 as they lost to Lakeside in the semifinals of the Washington state lacrosse championship tournament 11-10 in over time.

``We lost by one point to a very good team,'' said Islander Kate Elston. ``We got beat by five the last time we played them.''

The Lions jumped ahead to begin the game 4-2 and took that lead into half time.

But Mercer Island came out of the half with a fire and desire unmatched by Lakeside. The Islanders scored five consecutive goals to take a commanding 7-4 lead.

But the energy it took to get the team back into the game took its toll, as Lakeside tied the game at 10-10 by the end of regulation. The Lions continued their momentum during the sudden death period and scored the winning goal.

``Lakeside is a team that if we played them 100 times we could win 50,'' said Elston, who scored a goal during the game. ``We are that close.''

During the game Dani Zorn led Mercer Island with four goals, Tanya Swarts scored three and Carolyn Peterson had two goals. Kelsey Mesher had eight saves in goal for the Islanders.

Lakeside continued on to the state finals Saturday at Islander stadium to face Bainbridge Island. The Spartans took home their second consecutive state title with a 11-10 victory.

The Islanders finished the regular season with the two best teams in the state, but lost both games. First, Mercer Island took on Bainbridge May 11 and lost 12-6. The Islanders lost their first meeting with Lakeside 8-3, during the final game of the regular season on May 13.

The Islanders finished the season with an 11-3 mark, including an 11 game win streak to start the season.

``I think we will all just look back and smile,'' said Elston. ``This was just an incredible season.''

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