Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography Mercer Island captain Jack Delay, left, controls the ball while being guarded by an Issaquah player. The Eagles defeated the Islanders 2-1 in a non-league game on March 15 in Issaquah.

Islanders nearly complete comeback against Eagles

The Mercer Island boys soccer team just ran out of time against the Issaquah Eagles in a non-league matchup between two prominent high school soccer programs.

Mercer Island senior forward Jackson Kelly scored in the 56th minute, cutting Issaquah’s lead to 2-1. The Islanders played the majority of the final five minutes of the contest in Issaquah territory, but were unable to tie the game in the closing moments as the Eagles held on for a 2-1 victory on March 15 at Gary Moore Stadium in Issaquah.

Issaquah head coach Kyle Tatro wasn’t surprised the Islanders mounted a rally in the final minutes of regulation. Mercer Island, who earned second place at the Class 3A state tournament last season, is one of the top soccer programs in Washington.

“They stepped up. They knew what was on the line and they wanted to win the game. They really put us under pressure,” Issaquah head coach Kyle Tatro said. “We need to do a better job of maintaining our composure in a situation like that. There were too many hectic moments for us.”

Tatro has nothing but respect for the Mercer Island soccer program.

“Just to play well against them and hold them to one goal is big because they are so good,” Tatro said. “They are well-coached and have a lot of great players.”

The Eagles got on the board in the 39th minute on a Jack MacDonald goal. In the second half, Charlie Butler scored an insurance goal in the 53rd minute after receiving a sensational pass from teammate MacDonald. MacDonald’s cross from the right side of the field hit Butler in stride before he put the ball in the back of the net.

Mercer Island head coach Colin Rigby said his team, which has four starters returning from the 2016 season, is still trying to find its way during early-season action.

“This has been a molding preseason. The focus has been on trying to build chemistry with a lot of new guys. That has been the No. 1 thing we are working on. We use these preseason games to give everybody a chance and to look at who plays well with each other. We are still trying to come up with that final product of the starting lineup and to see what is going to work for our team and our program,” Rigby said. “We got a very systematic way of playing. We like to play on the ground and we like to possess the ball. When you play like that you have to have players that understand each other and can communicate with each other in an easy way. That is not easy to do in 10 days.”

Rigby said the core of last year’s team graduated this past June.

“When you have a major spine of the team being gone from last year, you have to make up for it with time, so time will tell. We just told the guys if they want to continue to have the success that we’ve had over the years, that they have to trust the system. They are doing that right now. They will continue to get better every game. We’re excited for it,” Rigby said.

Rigby is confident his team will get on track as the season progresses.

“We got great talent and we just need to put it together. We have an incredible defense and an incredible midfield,” he said. “When we finally get our cohesiveness it is going to be very fun to watch and dangerous for opponents for sure. I give a lot of credit to our defense right now. They are solid as a rock.”

More in Sports

Photo courtesy of Billy Pruchno
                                The Mercer Island Islanders girls golf team captured first place at the Burlington Invitational golf tournament on April 16. The Islanders, who compiled 355 total points (low score wins in golf) edged out second place Sammamish by 28 strokes. Mercer Island golfers Ella Warburg and Gihoe Seo tied for second place individually, with each golfer shooting a 79 on the 18-hole course. The Islanders have won all four golf tournaments they’ve competed in during the 2018 season thus far.
Mercer Island wins Burlington Invitational

Islanders girls golf team continues its winning streak.

Photo courtesy of Jay Na
                                The Mercer Island Islanders girls track team earned a 84-65 victory against the Liberty Patriots on April 5. The Islanders improved their overall record to 5-0 with the victory. Islanders athletes earning first place in their respective events consisted of Gretchen Blohm (200, 400 relay, 800 relay, 1600 relay), Margaret Baker (400, 800 relay, 1600 relay), Chloe Michaels (1600, 3200), Maya Virdell (300 hurdles, 400 relay, 800 relay, 1600 relay), Eliza Crenshaw (400 relay, 800 relay), Katie McCormick (400 relay, high jump), Ella Hensey (1600 relay, long jump), Faith Osei-Tutu (shot-put) and Aleksandra Kogalovski (pole vault). Crenshaw (pictured) competes in the 800-meter relay against Liberty.
Islanders girls track team remains undefeated

Mercer Island girls track squad improves overall record to 5-0.

Photo courtesy of Debby Wilson
                                Mercer Island Islanders girls water polo player Annie Ritcey, who is one of the team captains, unleashes a pass during a game during the 2018 season. The Islanders have just one loss thus far.
Islanders girls water polo program is thriving in the pool

Mercer Island girls water polo team has compiled five victories thus far.

Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
                                Mercer Island Islanders defender Reis Kissel, left, dribbles the ball upfield while being guarded by Interlake Saints midfielder Andre Garone, right, in a matchup between KingCo 3A teams on April 11 at Interlake High School in Bellevue. Mercer Island defeated Interlake 2-1 in the contest.
Islanders conquer Saints in rivalry showdown on the soccer field

Mercer Island survives Interlake rally in the second half.

Islander teammates Alex Seidel and Sabrina Kwan pose in front of the pool where they competed in the NCAA D3 National Swimming and Dive Championships.
Islanders compete at NCAA championships

Two MIHS teammates raced in A finals for the NCAA D3 National Swimming and Dive Championships.

Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
                                Mercer Island pitcher Robert Weaver surrendered just two hits in seven innings of work on the hill against the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors in the 2017 Class 3A third/fourth place game on May 27, 2017 at Safeco Field in Seattle. The Islanders defeated Edmonds-Woodway 2-1 to capture third place at the state tournament.
Islanders baseball program is absolutely dominant

Mercer Island is undefeated on the diamond.

Playing multiple sports creates better, healthier kids, says physical therapist

Special to the Reporter In an era of specialization in sports involving… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography
                                The Mercer Island Islanders boys lacrosse team earned their fifth win of the 2018 season courtesy of a 14-5 victory against Lakeridge on March 23. Mercer Island player Donnie Howard (pictured) controls the ball while being defended by a Lakeridge player.
Islanders boys lacrosse team captures fifth victory

Mercer Island boys lacrosse squad remains undefeated.