The Mercer Island girls lacrosse program has gotten off to a good start this season, but still has a lot of room to grow.
“It is kind of weird because the way the schedule has been, we haven’t had too many games so far,” said Van Der Horn. “But these girls are ready to play, and we will have a big test against Bainbridge.”
The game against the Spartans, the best team in the state at 7-0, with just nine goals allowed all season, will take place at 7:45 p.m. tonight at Bainbridge Island High School.
The game will be a big test for both teams as Mercer Island has shown it can light up the scoreboard.
Mercer Island hung 17 goals on Bellevue earlier this season as Carline Mahony scored eight times. The Islanders scored double digits against Lake Sammamish in a 14-2 rout on March 23. Mercer Island spread the ball around as five different players scored multiple goals, led by Hannah Bahn with four.
The Islanders’ only loss this season came against Holy Names, 15-14, on March 26, bringing the team’s goal total after three games to 45. Mahony scored eight points for the second time this season, a new school record.
Despite the loss, Islander freshman goalkeeper Erica Eagan posted 16 saves.
“She has been a rock in goal for us, which is surprising,” said Van Der Horn. “She has come up huge, not just for a freshman; she has been amazing.”
Eagan has received the majority of the starts in front of the net due to an injury to starting keeper Amy Judd.
Another big surprise for the Islanders has been the play of freshman Beth Felker, said Van Der Horn.
“She has been giant for us,” said Van Der Horn.
The young player has scored two goals this season, but has played beyond her experience level.
Mercer Island continued its run with a 12-5 win against Garfield April 7, led by Mahony’s five goals.
The Islanders picked up two more wins last week, defeating Snohomish in a tight 8-7 contest on Wednesday. Against Nathan Hale, the Islanders turned up the heat and blasted their opponents 16-11 on Friday, led by the eight goals of Mahony. Judd made her 2009 debut against the Panthers, collecting nine saves. Mahony led the offensive charge with five goals.
The changes that Van Der Horn has made in his first year as the Division I coach have taken hold, but he is still getting used to the transition.
“At the younger level, it is more about developing players,” said Van Der Horn. “This position is all about the bottom line.”
The Mercer Island Division II girls lacrosse team has begun the season undefeated through seven games. The team has been just as prolific on the scoreboard as the Division I team, scoring 20 points three times this season.
The toughest contest of the season so far came on opening night against Bellevue East, when the Islanders won 20-16. Mercer Island was led by Sarah Drucker, with six goals. Eight players scored for Mercer Island during the game.
The Islanders came up big against Snohomish on Wednesday with a 14-10 win. The team was led by Loreal Camp, with four goals.
The Islanders will face their biggest task of the season on Friday when they travel to Issaquah to take on the 8-1 Eagles in a showdown of the top two teams in Division II.