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MIHS girls soccer team guaranteed state hardware
By Megan Managan
Mercer Island Reporter
The Mercer Island girls soccer team closed the door last weekend on the second round of the state tournament, beating Glacier Peak to advance to this weekend’s state semifinals. With the win, the team has secured state hardware; the only question is what number will be on the trophy.
The Islanders, who beat Auburn Mountainview in the first round of the tournament, handily took control over Glacier Peak to win 2-1 last Saturday.
In the 22nd minute of play, Erin Bourguignon set up a corner kick on the Grizzlies end of the field. With a soaring kick into the middle of the box, senior Rachel Pedreira connected with the ball, scoring the first goal of the game.
Minutes later senior Mary Hill broke through to score the Islanders’ second goal of the night, advancing the team to a 2-0 lead.
It took the Grizzlies, who beat Sumner in the first round, until the 70th minute to get around the Mercer Island defensive line and freshman goalie Corey Goelz, when Brooke Gilbert scored an unassisted goal.
The team will now face Camas in the state semifinals this Friday at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood, with a 4 p.m. kick-off time. The game’s winner will go on to face the winner of the Columbia River, West Valley (Yakima) game for the state title. The losers of both matches will play for third and fourth place.
Four days prior, the Islanders started their tournament with a solid win over a physically demanding Auburn Mountainview team. The final score was 2-1.
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 which 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 that 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 freshmen on the field, including starting goalie Corey Goelz, who made 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.
The team has never won a state title and was runner up in 1991 and 2003, years before any of the girls on the current Islanders squad were in high school.