Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography Mercer Island Islanders girls soccer head coach James Valles, center, and a multitude of Islanders players celebrate after the final whistle signaling the end of the game. Mercer Island defeated the Bethel Braves 3-2 in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs on Nov. 7 at Mercer Island High School.

Islanders register monumental victory in state playoff game

Mercer Island senior midfielder Kendall Riley blocked out all the noise and was completely focused before completing one of the most memorable plays of her high school soccer career.

With less than three minutes left in regulation, the Mercer Island Islanders and Bethel Braves girls soccer teams were tied at 2-2 with a berth in the Class 3A quarterfinals hanging in the balance. Riley, who had a direct free kick from about 30 yards away from the goal on the left side of the field, studied Bethel keeper Isabelle Romero before unleashing a long range shot.

“I saw her go back post (right post) and I just knew that I couldn’t go back post. I tried to aim towards the middle,” Riley said.

Riley’s line drive shot sailed through the air before caroming off the inside of the left post and into the back of the net, giving the Islanders a 3-2 lead they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the way. Mercer Island’s defense fended off Bethel in the final two minutes, preserving a 3-2 victory in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs on Nov. 7 at Mercer Island High School.

Riley said it’s the first time the Islanders girls soccer program has advanced to the state quarterfinals since 2009.

“This is a big deal. We’re all really excited,” Riley said.

Mercer Island head coach James Valles wasn’t surprised to see Riley hit the game-winner.

“It was very clutch. She has been a pretty spectacular player all season. She has scored some timely goals just like that. She is always dangerous in those set pieces,” Valles said. “That was one for the ages. I think we’re all pretty darn happy with that one.”

Mercer Island junior forward Elaina Martin scored in the sixth minute of play, giving the Islanders a 1-0 lead. Bethel scored in the 18th minute tying the game at 1-1. Just before halftime Islanders senior midfielder Jessie Stenberg recorded a goal, giving the Islanders a 2-1 lead at halftime.

The Islanders will face Edmonds-Woodway in the Class 3A state quarterfinals. The quarterfinals will take place sometime between Nov. 9 through Nov. 11.

More in Sports

Mercer Island Islanders senior swimmer James Richardson (pictured) captured first place in the 100 fly and 100 back at the Class 3A state swim and dive meet during his junior season. Richardson wants to lead his team to a Class 3A state championship in February of 2019 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. Photo courtesy of Scott Richardson
Richardson is a rising star in the pool

Mercer Island senior is striving to lead his team to a state title.

Perfection in dual meets was attained during the 2017 season for the Islanders boys swim team in KingCo contests in the pool.
                                The Islanders picked up where they left off last season, cruising to a 105-55 win in the season opener against the Bellevue Wolverines on Nov. 29. The Islanders swim program has now won eight consecutive KingCo dual swim meets since the 2017-18 season. Mercer Island has a wealth of experience returning to the varsity roster during the 2018-19 season. Alex Edwards, Daniel Gao, Jake Headrick, Evan Hill, Gabriel Neale, John Novak, Collin Rallston, James Richardson, Killian Riley, Nate Robinson, Ethan Schwartz and Kieran Watson were all on the varsity roster last season and return this year. Islanders athletes capturing first place against Bellevue in their respective events consisted of Justin Robinson (500 free, 50 free, 400 free relay, 200 medley relay), Schwartz (100 free, 400 free relay, 200 medley relay, 100 back), Rallston (200 medley relay, 200 free relay, 200 IM), Riley (200 free relay, 400 free relay), Carter Whipple (200 medley relay, 200 free relay), Connor Hanson (200 free relay) and John Novak (400 free relay). Photo courtesy of Scott Richardson
Islanders conquer rival in the pool

Mercer Island swim team defeats Bellevue in season opener.

Mercer Island Islanders seniors Stew Vassau, left, and Donnie Howard, right, signed their letters of committment on Nov. 19 to continue their lacrosse careers at the collegiate level. Vassau will play lacrosse for the University of Utah and Howard will continue his lacrosse career at Boston University. Mercer Island boys lacrosse head coach Ian O’Hearn, center, is pictured with his two collegiate bound players. Photo courtesy of Don Howard
Howard, Vassau sign on the dotted line

Mercer Island Islanders seniors Stew Vassau, left, and Donnie Howard, right, signed… Continue reading

Mercer Island Islanders senior guard/co-captain Will Lee (pictured) said the goal for his squad this season is to win the 2A/3A KingCo Division and clinch a berth in the Class 3A state tournament in March of 2019 at the Tacoma Dome. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Islanders are confident on the hardwood

Mercer Island boys basketball team is looking to take the next step.

Mercer Island Islanders senior girls basketball player Angelina Barokas (pictured) dove for a loose ball against Bellevue in a game during the 2017-18 season. Barokas, who was a member of the Class 3A state championship squad two years ago as a sophomore, is determined to lead her team back to the Class 3A state tournament this March. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Mercer Island girls hoops team has high expectations

Dennis Black is in first season leading the Islanders program.

A Mercer Island based tennis team, representing the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Pacific Northwest Section, captured the national title at the USTA League 40 Over 3.0 Men’s National Championships on Oct. 28 at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Alabama. The Mercer Island team, which is based out of of the Mercer Island Country Club, defeated a squad from San Francisco, California 3-2 in the title match. Members of the Mercer Island squad consisted of John Whipple, Bernard Hensey, Brian Rogers, Christopher Loiselle, Christopher Martin, Dean Martin, Dean Winston, Jeff Omara, Richard Aylen and Ryan Flynn. Photo courtesy of the United States Tennis Association
Mercer Island tennis team wins national title

Team based out of Mercer Island Country Club dominates at coveted tournament.

The Mercer Island Islanders boys water polo team earned a 19-1 win against Kennedy on senior night on Nov. 1. Mercer Island seniors pictured include Jacob Goldfarb, Tyler Robinson, Peter Davis, Cole Brittain, Will Cero, William Lacrampe, Leif Gullstad, Julian Rizza and Nate Robinson. Photo courtesy of Dawn Friedland
Mercer Island water polo team dominates Kennedy

Islanders dominate on senior night.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls swim team earned third place as a team at the Class 3A SeaKing district championships on Nov. 3 at Mary Wayte Pool on Mercer Island. The 200 medley relay team consisting of Alex Williams, Grace Olsen, Cayla Prophater and Julia Williamson captured fourth place. The 200 free relay team of Ellie Bailey, Annie Pearse, Williamson and Olsen earned fifth place. The 400 free relay team of Hailey Vandenbosch, Prophater, Pearse and Bailey captured fifth place.
                                Islanders’ junior Sophia McGuffin earned first place in the diving portion of the meet. Bailey earned eighth place in the 50 free and 10th place in the 100 free. Sophomore Grace Lennington captured 10th place in the 500 free. Senior Chloe Mark earned ninth place in the 200 free and sixth place in the 500 free. Olsen finished in ninth place in the 200 IM and sixth place in the 100 breaststroke. Pearse registered a third-place finish in the 50 free and third place in the 100 free. Prophater finished in fifth place in the 200 IM and third place in the 500 free. Mira Tang captured ninth place in the 100 back. Vandenbosch earned 10th place in the 200 free and ninth place in the 100 fly. Williams finished in sixth place in the 100 back. Williamson earned ninth place in the 50 free and eighth place in the 100 free. Sophomore Katie Williamson finished in fifth place in the 100 back. Photo courtesy of Allison Nelson
Islanders girls swim team earns third place at districts

The Mercer Island Islanders girls swim team earned third place as a… Continue reading

Mercer Island Islanders freshman Kai Zettel (pictured) earned 36th place with a time of 17:01.2 at the Class 3A Sea-King District II championships on Oct. 25 in Seattle. Photo courtesy of Jay Na
Making an impact on the trails

The future is bright for Mercer Island freshman cross country runner Kai Zettel.

Mercer Island Islanders senior cross country athlete Maggie Baker advanced to the Class 3A state meet for four consecutive seasons from 2015 through 2018. Photo courtesy of Jay Na
A pillar of the program

Mercer Island senior Maggie Baker advances to the state cross country meet for fourth straight year.

The Mercer Island Islanders boys golf team won the KingCo 2A/3A tournament on Oct. 15 and 3A SeaKing golf tournament on Oct. 23. The Islanders will compete in the Class 3A state golf tournament this May. Photo courtesy of Tyson Peters
Coming through in the clutch on the links

Mercer Island Islanders boys golf team dominates postseason tournaments.

Mercer Island conquers its rival in the pool

Islanders defeat Wolverines for second time during 2018 season.