Not even 90 minutes of soccer could decide a winner in a KingCo 3A/2A showdown between the Mercer Island Islanders and Bellevue Wolverines boys soccer teams.
The Islanders and Wolverines battled to a 0-0 draw in a matchup between rivals on March 23 at Bellevue High School. Neither team recorded a goal during 80 minutes of regulation or the two five-minute overtime sessions. Mercer Island has an overall record of 2-1-1 (1-1-1 league) in early season action. Mercer Island and Bellevue were evenly matched and both squads had solid opportunities to find the back of the net throughout the duration of the contest. In the final minute of the second overtime session, Mercer Island midfielder Dakota Promet unleashed a solid shot on the ground from about 20 yards out but it was saved by Bellevue goalie Jackson Buck. With 11 minutes left in regulation, Mercer Island midfielder Hunter Bauman nearly scored on a header but the ball deflected off of the near post and into the hands of Buck. Bellevue’s best chance to score occurred in the second overtime session. Mercer Island’s goalie was caught out of the goal and the net was open. Bellevue junior Sebastian Scrivner took a shot but a Mercer Island defender covered for his goalie, blocking the shot’s path to the net before clearing the ball safely. Mercer Island head coach Colin Rigby is impressed with his team’s defense in the first four games of the 2018 season. The Islanders have surrendered just four goals but two of those goals happened when the Islanders accidentally scored on themselves.
“We have a great back line (defenders) across the board. We’re confident with the lack of shots on goal that we’ve allowed other teams to get so far this season. Reis Kissel is just an absolute rock for our team and just plays awesome. It sets the tone for the rest of the group,” Rigby said of the defense. “Everybody feels really comfortable and that is a major part of it.”
On the offensive end of the field the Islanders are led by midfielder Hunter Bauman and senior midfielder Emil Talerman.
“Emil causes chaos up top and is constantly moving. He is always trying to come up with creative ways to get behind the defense. He is going to eventually score a lot of goals for us,” Rigby said.
The Islanders, who advanced to the Class 3A state quarterfinals last season, are focused on thriving in the formidable KingCo 3A/2A Conference.
“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.