Boys lacrosse returns from NY

The Mercer Island varsity boys lacrosse team ventured to the hotbed of high school lacrosse in upstate New York last week to see how they stood against some of the best teams in the country. The result was one victory and four losses against some of the best teams in the nation.

``You just can't make mistakes against those teams,'' said starting Islander defenseman Adam Brazg.

Although many of the players felt that they had a chance to win each game, one or two good quarters of play was not enough to counteract mistakes against nationally-ranked teams.

``We don't see defenses like this in Washington state,'' said Mercer Island boys lacrosse head coach Ian O'Hearn. ``We often had trouble getting off shots or getting them to go in.''

On defense for Mercer Island, goalie Noah Symington averaged 15 saves per game, and the Islander back line of Ben Wickizer, Brant Howell and Brazg played well and continually improved, said O'Hearn.

During the team's victory against O'Hearn's old high school, Shaker (Albany, N.Y.), the team had to come from behind to win. The Islanders had fallen behind 7-4 at the half.

Ben York controlled all the face-offs in the second half and scored four goals plus one assist during the game as Mercer Island earned its lone win during the trip 11-8. Mercer Island scored seven goals during the second half of the game to Shaker's one.

Greg Mahony had a season-high five goals while older brother Kevin Mahony had one goal and four assists. Islander David Sandman had a goal and an assist. Chris Taylor and Jacob Sonkin each had an assist.

During the final game against the Guilderland Dutchmen on Saturday, Mercer Island dropped a close game 10-8. York controlled 81 percent of the face-offs and Mercer Island outshot Guilderland 30-20. But the Islanders couldn't find the net consistently.

On April 12, the Islanders lost to Corning East 12-6, despite two goals each by Kevin Mahoney and Taylor. Symington had 15 saves.

On April 11, Mercer Island was defeated by Skaneateles 10-5, as Symington had 15 saves and York finished with two goals.

During the five games, Kevin Mahony had nine goals and nine assists, Greg Mahony had seven goals and one assist, York had six goals and two assists, Taylor had four goals and five assists, Sandman had four goals and three assists, Hank Bennett had two goals and Jacob Sonkin had a goal and two assists.

The Mercer Island players undoubtedly learned a lot from the New York teams as they prepare for the second half of the regular season and a run at a second consecutive Washington state title.

The Islanders also received the opportunity to see college lacrosse games including: Cornell vs. Syracuse in the Syracuse Carrier Dome, Canisius vs. Saint Mary's a Division I game and Cortland vs. Oswego a Division III game.

The Islanders traveled to Bellevue Tuesday (after Reporter deadline) and will return home Friday at 8 p.m. against Roosevelt in Islander Stadium.

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