Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
                                Mercer Island Islanders boys soccer player Emil Talerman, left, pursues a through ball before Interlake goalie gains possession of the ball in a game featuring rivals on April 11 at Interlake High School. Mercer Island has won eight of their past nine games.

Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography Mercer Island Islanders boys soccer player Emil Talerman, left, pursues a through ball before Interlake goalie gains possession of the ball in a game featuring rivals on April 11 at Interlake High School. Mercer Island has won eight of their past nine games.

Islander soccer squad is peaking at the right time

Mercer Island boys soccer team has won eight of its past nine games.

With postseason play rapidly approaching and the regular season winding down, the Mercer Island Islanders boys soccer team is playing its best soccer of the season to date.

Since the Islanders’ lackluster 0-0 draw against the Bellevue Wolverines on March 23, they’ve won eight of their past nine games on the soccer pitch. With just three regular season contests remaining on the schedule, the Islanders are on a roll at the most important juncture of the 2018 season. Following the early season draw against Bellevue, Mercer Island head coach Colin Rigby talked about what his team needed to do in the future in order to be successful.

“We always set the goal high for KingCo because it is the toughest league in the state of Washington. We don’t want to overlook any game. We take every KingCo game as they come because we know we have to play each team twice. We’d love to check each team off of our bucket list every time we play then and then see them again and try to check them off again. This league this season is especially competitive,” Rigby said earlier this season.

Since then, the Islanders lone defeat came courtesy of a 2-0 defeat to the Redmond Mustangs on April 9. The Islanders’ success on the soccer field in 2018 hasn’t surprised me in the least bit. Expectations never waver for the Islanders’ soccer program despite seeing 10 of its varsity players from the 2017 team graduate in June of 2017. Losing key players Lucas Meek (University of Washington), Eric Dryer, Jack Delay and Mitchell Meade was going to be an undeniable obstacle to overcome heading into early season practices this past February.

The Islanders have undoubtedly rose to the occasion and have handled the transition beautifully.

The Mercer Island Islanders boys soccer program has cultivated a winning culture over the years. Last season the Islanders advanced to the Class 3A state semifinals and in 2016 the Islanders advanced to the Class 3A state championship game. The Islanders aren’t the kind of program that rebuilds, they are the kind of program that year in and year out is in contention to reach the state playoffs. The postseason is right around the corner for high school soccer programs in Washington. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mercer Island advances to the state playoffs this May.

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