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Islanders soccer nabs two league wins
The Mercer Island girls soccer team nabbed its first and second league win in a convincing style, posting a 3-1 victory over the Juanita Rebels last Tuesday night and a 2-0 rout over Mount Si on Thursday. The Islanders have started off the season with four wins and a loss to the 4A state champs, Skyline.
Tuesday’s game kicked off after senior captain Erin Bourguignon placed a kick into the top of the Rebels’ goal, sailing over Juanita’s keeper in the 27th minute of play to give the Islanders the lead they held onto for the rest of the night.
“We knew this goalkeeper was going to be absolutely amazing, and she was,” said Islander head coach Adam Gervis. “She was unbelievable, but we knew if we could hit it low, we’d be good.”
Minutes later, Bourguignon was again at the center of attention, but this time for gaining a yellow card with 4:26 left in the first half after she protested the head referee’s decision not to call an earlier foul on her teammate. Despite Bourguignon sitting out for the remainder of the half, MI upped the ante with an Ellen Haas goal in the last two minutes of play. She scored off a header placed into the Juanita goal box during a Mercer Island corner kick to give the Islanders a solid 2-0 lead heading into the half.
At the beginning of the second half, the Islanders continued to knock on the Rebels door, looking for a chance to bust into another goal. The opportunity finally arose 10 minutes into the second half when Juanita fouled Celina Solomon, giving the Islanders a free kick just on the outside of the goal box. Bourguignon repeated her earlier magic, sailing the shot into the top corner of the Rebels’ goal for a 3-0 lead.
Gervis had absolute confidence in his team on Tuesday night, saying that the front combination of Ellan Haas, freshman Alexi Odegard and Lean Johnson, along with support from the midfield and defense, kept pushing the Rebel defense, looking for opportunities to score.
The Rebels were able to make an appearance on the scoreboard, earning a point off a Tori Lee penalty kick with 8:24 left in regulation time. The goal, earned after a handball in the Islanders’ own goal box, was just missed by freshman goalkeeper Corey Goelz to take the score to 3-1.
Gervis said that, most importantly, the win was about the team, setting each other up and getting where they needed to be across the field.
“It is a team; that’s the thing we focused on since we went to camp. They bought in and are doing a real nice job — they are playing for each other,” said Gervis. “We’ve never been able to get this combination, and we’ve really worked this year on all of the players being just where they need to be.”
Thursday evening was the team’s second home game of the week that the Islanders faced off against Mount Si, nabbing a 2-0 win.
“Mount Si is always physical, and we hope — well, I know, we have a good ref. We’re just looking for more of the same,” said Gervis prior to the Thursday match.
Haas picked up another goal for the Islanders this season in the 55th minute of play on Thursday, off an assist from Laura Harrison. Junior Claire Jensen followed with an unassisted goal in the 69th minute to give the Islanders a 2-0 final score.
Gervis said that while the team wasn’t in top form on Thursday, players still managed to get the better of their Wildcat opponent.
“We worked well together and slowly wore down Mount Si, who could not counter our work ethic in midfield,” he said.
This week the team faced Sammamish and will take on Bellevue tomorrow afternoon.