When it was all over, a sea of Mercer Island Islanders girls lacrosse fans made a beeline for the field for an unforgettable celebration.
The Mercer Island Islanders girls lacrosse team earned the Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association (WSLA) state championship courtesy of a comeback 10-9 victory against Bainbridge Island on May 17 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
Mercer Island sophomore Emma Brodsky broke a 9-9 tie with the go-ahead goal with just 29 seconds left in regulation. Brodsky scored a team-high four goals for the Islanders. Mercer Island, which trailed Bainbridge Island 7-4 with 16:55 left in regulation, outscored them 6-2 in the final 15:28 of the game. Islanders’ sophomores Hannah Tiscornia, Annabelle Gersch and Eden Voss each recorded two goals apiece in the triumph.
The senior class, consisting of Grace Fujinaga, Julia Nordstrom and Ellie Sulla, finished its high school lacrosse careers in the best way possible, with a victory in the state championship game.
Fujinaga was visibly emotional following the game while being mobbed by teammates.
“This is the closest team I have ever played on. We had the best chemistry and worked on that all season. To win a game like this against a team that we lost to last year is just awesome,” Fujinaga said. “I’m so proud to be on this team and am proud to call myself an islander.”
The Islanders lost to Bainbridge Island 10-9 in the 2018 title matchup but turned the tables on Bainbridge Island in 2019. Gersch wasn’t surprised her team overcame a three-goal deficit in the second half.
“It was really hard but we had heart the whole entire time. We came in at half. We knew we were down (Bainbridge Island led 5-3) but we had heart and we stuck together. That is really what led us to the win at the end,” Gersch said.
Mercer Island head coach Lyndsey Gillis marveled at her team’s resiliency against Bainbridge.
“To climb back after being down a few goals, they really stayed composed and fought in the second half. They earned that win. I couldn’t be prouder of them. I know they wanted it tonight,” Gillis said.
The Islanders team chemistry was on display when the game was on the line in the second half.
“We have a really great sophomore class and some awesome senior leaders. They have been here before,” Gillis said. “We move the ball so well. They trust each other and they really came through at the end there. I’m just so pumped for them.”
Fujinaga, who said in an interview this past March that the 2018 title game was one of her most watched videos on YouTube, will have a new YouTube video to watch this summer now.
“Grace was all over the field and was getting it done. She wanted this so bad. She is such a competitive person,” Gillis said.