Chances were aplenty on both sides of the ball, but neither squad could crack the back of the net during regulation and overtime.
In penalty kicks, however, Redmond had the upper hand on Mercer Island and notched a 1-0 victory to claim the 3A KingCo tournament title for the first time in 11 years on Tuesday night at Redmond High.
Redmond advances to state while Mercer Island will take on Interlake on Thursday in a loser-out match.
“It’s tough, both teams had chances,” said MI’s Hunter Bauman. “We knew what we had to do coming in. I think at the end, we just didn’t convert on our chances. Obviously, an intense game. Hats off to them, they did a great job.”
After 90 minutes of stellar soccer from both teams — and crowds roaring in both grandstands — it came down to the goalkeepers versus the shooters for the championship.
Redmond keeper Ricardo Escalante made two saves and the Mustangs outscored the Islanders 4-2 to grab the trophy. Redmond had one miss during PKs and Mercer Island’s Matthew Capone and Bauman cashed in their kicks.
For Mercer Island (13-3-1 overall), goalkeeper Adam Braman made several saves during regulation and OT and the Islanders nearly won in the first sudden-death session, but a shot hit the post.
Redmond upped its overall record to 14-3-0.
“It was a good battle. You’ve gotta give them credit. I think we had probably close to 10 very very good opportunities. It felt like we had the game from the get-go, to be honest. They had a couple chances, but that’s the way this sport works,” said MI coach Colin Rigby. “Gonna have to buckle down and go beat Interlake and go take the back road into state.”
Rigby was impressed with what the teams had to offer in the biggest match of the season thus far.
“Probably one of the best games I’ve seen in KingCo in a while as far as clean, good quality,” he added, noting that MI’s Luca Mtskhetadze played especially well.