Mercer Island girls lacrosse takes third straight win

Mercer Island defender Clara Felker prepares to block a Garfield ball during the Islander’s 16-4 win over the Bulldogs on Thursday night. - Megan Managan/Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island defender Clara Felker prepares to block a Garfield ball during the Islander’s 16-4 win over the Bulldogs on Thursday night.
— image credit: Megan Managan/Mercer Island Reporter

For the third straight game, the Mercer Island girls Division I lacrosse team earned a win, taking the team’s season to a 4-1 record.

The Islanders beat Garfield in a home contest on Thursday night, 16-4, after downing Tacoma, 11-8, before the school’s spring break on March 25. The team also beat Roosevelt, 17-11, on March 22.

During the Thursday matchup, Sarah Drucker had five goals for the Islanders, while Lauren Ito added another four, and team captain Talia Homchick earned three goals. Garfield’s Linnea Whisman earned four goals for the Bulldogs.

Mercer Island goalie Erika Eagan had nine saves for the Islanders.

Head coach Craig VanderHorn said a huge factor in the team’s recent success is that it has started coming together on the field.

“The team is really starting to come together on the field, and we’re getting closer on what works best for us,” he said.

Part of that success is thanks to strong defense and offensive team play during games, said the coach. Another area that has really shown strength is in goalkeeping.

“We’ve had some really strong goalie play,” said VanderHorn. “Laura Wessbecher, who played goalie for us against Tacoma, had 10 saves for a 50 percent save rate, and she’d never played goalie before. Even when people are filling in, we’re doing great.”

Islander senior Talia Homchick has 15 goals so far this season, averaging 3.6 a game, while Ellen Haas has eight goals on the season and Hannah Bahn has seven goals. Goalie Erika Eagan has 45 saves from 89 shots in the first half of the season.

In the next two weeks, the Islanders will face some of their stiffest competition, including Snohomish, Bellevue and Bainbridge.

“It’s some of our toughest competition,” said VanderHorn. “We have Snohomish and then Bellevue, which is tough, but then we play them back to back.”

In order to prepare, the coach said the team is working on their footwork and conditioning.

“Everything comes in time and we’re starting to pick up on things from earlier in the season, so we’ll be looking for new things to work on,” he said. “Overall I think things have been going really well.”

The team will play at Bellevue tonight starting at 6:30 p.m. before hosting Nathan Hale next Monday, April 19 starting at 8 p.m. The Islanders will host Bainbridge on Friday at 6 p.m.

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