Mercer Island junior midfielder Luca Mtskhetadze, left, celebrates with teammate Jonah Hyman, right, after scoring on a header in the 87th minute of play, giving his team a 2-1 lead in overtime. Mercer Island held on for a 2-1 victory against the Juanita Rebels on April 11. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography

Mercer Island junior midfielder Luca Mtskhetadze, left, celebrates with teammate Jonah Hyman, right, after scoring on a header in the 87th minute of play, giving his team a 2-1 lead in overtime. Mercer Island held on for a 2-1 victory against the Juanita Rebels on April 11. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography

Islanders register comeback victory against Rebels

Mercer Island prevails in overtime against Juanita.

Things were looking bleak for the Mercer Islanders boys soccer team late in the second half against the Juanita Rebels in a 3A KingCo matchup.

Juanita took a 1-0 lead when senior forward Osvaldo Arechiga connected on a goal in the 72nd minute of play, giving the Rebels a 1-0 lead.

The lead didn’t last long.

With less than five minutes left in regulation, Juanita was called for a hand ball close to the goal resulting in a penalty kick opportunity for the Islanders. Mercer Island senior Matt Capone calmly placed a penalty kick shot in the lower left corner of the goal, tying the game at 1-1 to force overtime.

Neither team recorded a goal in the first five-minute overtime session. In the 87th minute of play, Mercer Island junior midfielder Luca Mtskhetadze connected on a header goal off of a corner kick on a picture-perfect pass from Capone, giving the Islanders a 2-1 lead. Mercer Island’s defense was able to prevent Juanita from scoring in the final three minutes of play, preserving an epic 2-1 victory for the Islanders on April 11.

Mercer Island improved its overall record to 6-2-3 with the win while Juanita dropped to 1-6-2 overall. It was the first time Mercer Island had won a game since March 28. Mercer Island head coach Forrest Marowitz was thrilled to see his team get back in the win column.

“Up until this point, we were sitting on a loss, a tie and a loss, so getting a win tonight was imperative not just for the standings but for our morale,” Marowitz said. “The fact that we got that game-winning goal was just massive.”

Mtskhetadze echoed Marowitz’s sentiment following the game.

“This was a big game for our season. It was a decider for us. We needed to come out here and get three points (a victory is three points in the standings),” Mtskhetadze said.

Mtskhetadze credited Capone for his sterling assist on the game-winning score.

“We had been getting shots all game long. We just needed to put one away. I knew that one was gone (goal) as soon as he kicked it,” Mtskhetadze said.

Arechiga said the Rebels gave it everything they had against the Islanders.

“We thought we had it but that’s how the game is. We played good and we tried our best,” Arechiga said.

Marowitz wasn’t concerned despite trailing the Rebels with just eight minutes remaining in regulation.

“Even though we went down 1-0, we dominated the whole game. We just kept getting our chances and just couldn’t get one to go. They sneaked one back in (Arechiga’s goal in the 72nd minute). That is how soccer goes. We didn’t hold our heads down and we came back and kept fighting,” Marowitz said.

Juanita Rebels midfielder Victor Ramos Agular, left, controls the ball while being guarded by Mercer Island midfielder Joshua Chang, right. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography

Juanita Rebels midfielder Victor Ramos Agular, left, controls the ball while being guarded by Mercer Island midfielder Joshua Chang, right. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography

More in Sports

Anna Bolger, 16 will compete in the Spartan Race World Championships 2019 next month. Photo courtesy of Spartan Race website
Mercer Island’s Bolger to compete in the Spartan World Championships

Sixteen-year-old Anna Bolger will compete in the World Championships Sept. 28-29 in Lake Tahoe.

Track and field runs in the family

Brother and sister get on the podium at Junior Olympic Championships.

Northwest Water Polo Club squads shine at Junior Olympics

Teams feature Mercer Island players, coaches.

Johnson, captains to lead MIHS girls swim and dive squad

Chauntelle Johnson returns as head coach for the Mercer Island High School… Continue reading

Six Islanders honored as high school All-American swimmers

MIHS athletes were impressive at state meet.

Graham-owned H1 Unlimited hydro wins HomeStreet Bank Cup at Seafair

Driver Kelly victorious in race decided by penalty.

Islander baseballers compete at USA Cup

A trio of 14U Islander baseball players led their NW Elite Team… Continue reading

Mercer Island Islanders midfielder Matt Capone (right), passes the ball to a teammate in a contest against the Juanita Rebels during the 2019 season. Capone will play soccer at Northwest Nazarene University this fall. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Attaining a dream on the soccer field

Mercer Island 2019 grad Matt Capone will play college soccer at Northwest Nazarene University.

Mercer Island Islanders 2019 graduate Teague Conder (pictured) will continue his baseball career at Whitman College in Walla Walla. Photo courtesy of Teague Conder
Conder to continue baseball career at Whitman College

Former Mercer Island third baseman embraces the action.

Most Read