The Mercer Island FC Maroon girls soccer team earned a 2-1 victory against the PacNW Blue in the President’s Cup D2 championship contest May 12. Photo courtesy of Tom Hill

The Mercer Island FC Maroon girls soccer team earned a 2-1 victory against the PacNW Blue in the President’s Cup D2 championship contest May 12. Photo courtesy of Tom Hill

Maroon girls soccer team completes journey with a championship

Teamwork propels Maroon soccer team to third title in five seasons.

Team togetherness and camaraderie has been a staple of the Mercer Island FC Maroon girls soccer team for the past seven years.

The Maroon GU18/19 soccer squad completed its final season of soccer together with a 2-1 victory against the PacNW Blue in the President’s Cup D2 championship contest May 12. It was the third time out of the past five seasons the Maroon won a state title in its division.

Maroon head coach Tom Hill said the majority of the players on his team’s roster have played together since the 2012 season. The final game the Maroon ever played was a testament to their trust in each other. The title game against PacNW Blue was tied 0-0 at halftime.

Hill wasn’t worried.

Instead of giving a halftime pep talk, the mild-mannered Hill quietly picked up water bottles while his team gathered for a players-only huddle.

“They circled up and I could tell they were in their own zone. They didn’t need me,” Hill said. “When they came out for the second half, they were just bouncing around and were ready to go. The other team was just walking onto the field. You could see the difference.”

The Maroon scored two goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half of play. Hill wasn’t surprised to see his squad respond in its final game together.

“It was really emotional for the girls as it was for me. When the final whistle was blown, our center defender Ella Hensey who really held down the fort all year because of her speed, she just went to tears, which was really cool to see. You could tell how much this team cared about each other,” Hill explained. “They are great kids and they are great athletes who really bonded together and learned how to win.”

The Maroon compiled more than 108 victories and won six summer tournaments since the team was formed seven seasons ago. Hill, his players and the parents of the players were in reflection mode at their final team party on the evening of May 30.

“It’s not just the girls on the team that have bonded but it’s the parents, too, and the coaches. We all have made a lot of good friends over the years amongst everyone,” Hill said.

The Maroon team roster during the 2019 season consisted of Abby Berman, Annelise Rorem, Catherine Yoshida, Claire Molina, Ella Hensey, Ella Veljovich, Ellie Sulla, Hannah Derakshani, Hannah Wainwright, Katelyn Orndorff, Keathley Pinney-Brown, Elaina Martin, Lexi Shurygailo, Mari Hanan, Naomi Lewis, Robin Henry, Sarah Gest and Stella Goffman. Jackie Brown was the team manager and the Maroon were coached by Steve Gest and Hill.

More in Sports

Arabella Chapman earned the top spot on the podium in the 55-pound weight class at the 2019 Women’s National Championships and World Team trials. Photo courtesy of Connie Chapman
Chapman earns a gold medal on the wrestling mat

Northwood Elementary School student dominates opponents.

Mercer Island quarterback Clay Dippold completes a set of reps on the squat rack in the weight room on June 14. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Seasoned signal caller leads Islanders

Field general Clay Dippold is stoked for his senior season.

Mercer Island Islanders senior football player Bryce Fitzwilson utilizes speed and quickness on the gridiron. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Controlling the edge with speed and quickness

Stalwart defensive end Bryce Fitzwilson leads by example.

Mercer Island girls lacrosse players Grace Fujinaga, Annabelle Gersch and Hannah Tiscornia hold the state championship trophy following their 10-9 victory against Bainbridge Island in the Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association championship game on May 17. Photo courtesy of Kathy Gersch
Seattle Mariners legend Edgar Martinez, left, and Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone, right, collaborated on a book titled, “Edgar: An Autobiography.” Martinez and Stone attended a book signing on June 12 at Barnes Noble in Bellevue. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Legendary Mariner meets a plethora of fans

Edgar Martinez visits Bellevue Barnes & Noble to promote his book.

Mercer Island resident Michael Magnussen has competed in all six of the marathon majors in the world since 2016. Magnussen clocked a time of 2:56.21 at the London Marathon in May. This past February, Magnussen finished with a time of 2:55.40 in the Tokyo Marathon. Photo courtesy of Theresa Magnussen
Running is a way of life for Magnussen

Hard work and determination pays dividends for avid Mercer Island runner.

Mercer Island Islanders sophomore Tegan Yuasa is currently the top-ranked male 55-kilogram athlete in the sport of Judo. Yuasa will compete at the Cadet World Championships, which will take place from Sept. 25-29 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Photo courtesy of Mark Yuasa
Yuasa earns first place in the USA Judo Elite Senior National Championships

Mercer Island High School sophomore Tegan Yuasa captured first place in the… Continue reading

The Mercer Island Islanders girls golf team captured third place as a team at the 2019 3A Sea-King girls district golf tournament on May 13. The third place finish ensured the Islanders varsity golf team a berth at the Class 3A state tournament. Islanders’ golfers pictured in the above photo are Gihoe Seo, Annelise Rorem, Katelyn Travis, Yumi Baston, Grace Shaddle and Lilly Pruchno. Mercer Island coaches Don Papasedero and Tim Okamura are pictured on the right. Photo courtesy of Billy Pruchno
Islanders golf team earns third place at districts

Mercer Island golfer Gihoe Seo earned second place individually

Mercer Island junior Maya Virdell (pictured) captured first place in the 300 hurdles at the 3A KingCo track meet at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Virdell cruises to a first place finish in 300 hurdles

Mercer Island junior continues to dominate in her best event.

Mercer Island senior Maggie Baker (No. 5) captured first place in the 400 at the 3A KingCo track meet at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Baker registers first place finish in the 400

Mercer Island senior takes the top spot.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls 1600 relay team consisting of athletes Maggie Baker, Maya Virdell, Gretchen Blohm and Ashley Rudd, earned first place with a time of 4:07.66 at the 3A KingCo track championships in Kirkland. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Islanders’ quartet finishes in first place in 1600 relay

Mercer Island captures first place by a significant margin.

Mercer Island senior Matthew Capone, left, dribbles the ball up field while being guarded by Juanita sophomore Andrew Taylor in a game on April 11. Juanita defeated Mercer Island, 2-1, in a loser-out, 3A KingCo playoff game on May 7 at Mercer Island High School. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Rebels defeat Islanders in overtime

Mercer Island finishes the 2019 season with eight victories.