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MIHS girls soccer advances to state quarters to face Glacier Peak
The Mercer Island girls soccer team closed the door Tuesday night on the first round of the 2009 state tournament, with a solid win over a physically demanding Auburn Mountainview team. The final score was 2-1. The team will now take on Glacier Peak on Saturday at MIHS.
The very wet first round of the tournament, in the Islanders' home stadium, started out with the MI team down, after the Lions' Sydney Coleman scored off an assist from Ali Clarkson in the first 10 minutes of the game. Seven minutes later Islander captain and senior Erin Bourguignon found the back of the Auburn Mountainview net off an assist from Mary Hill. Moments later the Islanders made another downfield sprint, looking for an opportunity that came via the Lions' own defense. Bourguignon made a kick toward the goal that glanced off the top of an Auburn Mountainview defender, who was attempting to send the ball away from the goal, but ended up putting it into the net, giving Mercer Island a 2-1 lead.
By the halfway point, the rain was coming down harder and both teams were looking to close out the game. What started as a physically aggressive game only got more so in the second half. About halfway through the last portion of the match, Bourguignon was the recipient of a yellow card from the head referee on the field, and several players on both sides went down momentarily due to fouls, injuries and errant shots.
"We scouted them and knew what they had," said head coach Adam Gervis, following the win. "They are a very talented team. They are strong and big, but I knew they didn't have a killer goal scorer and if you don't have a killer goal scorer at this level, it's going to be harder; you have to make it happen. They did that with the first goal, then we just — within a very short amount of time — were back in charge. I was never worried."
Gervis said he felt the team had a strong night, especially seniors Hill and Bourguignon, who made a long-planned switch from defense to the middle last night.
"I knew for the playoffs this was where she'd be; we just had to get here," he said. Another Islander standout for the night was senior midfielder Rachel Pedreira.
"Rachel had a fabulous game. We haven't seen that out of her all year, and it was a big game," said Gervis. He also gave a shout-out to the freshman on the field, including starting goalie Corey Goelz, making her first state appearance, along with Alexi Odegard.
"She [Corey Goelz] had some decisions to make, and she made all the right ones," he said. "This program is really about playing for each other and they did that. It's the most important thing; they played hard, and they played well."
Gervis' one complaint about the evening was the finish, or lack thereof. Neither team scored during the second half, despite chances on both sides.
"We didn't finish, and that was the one thing I said in my comments afterward. Their goalkeeper made a couple of nice saves, but really it was in our hands to finish, and we didn't," he said.
While the Lions' season ended with their visit to Mercer Island last night, the Islanders advance to the next round of the tournament, facing Glacier Peak, which beat Sumner in the first round match-up, 2-0.
Gervis said, prior to knowing their next opponent, the team would focus on fitness.
"It's our core, and since the beginning of the season, that's where we've always gone back to. Really, it's just fine-tuning," he said.
The Islanders will face off against the Grizzlies on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. at Islander Stadium.