M*A*S*H unit still in playoff race

Girls soccer presses forward despite missing six players

Girls soccer presses forward despite missing six players

By Matt Phelps
Mercer Island Reporter

The battle for playoff positioning is heating up for 3A KingCo girls soccer. Mercer Island split two games this week but did not get the win they needed to make a move in the standings thanks to a litany of injuries that has depleted the entire program.

“I have had five or six girls missing at any one time,” said Mercer Island girls soccer coach Adam Gervis. “The fact that we are still in the playoff picture is a testament to the kids’ heart.”

The biggest injury came when starting goal keeper Tyler Ledbetter came back from what was diagnosed as a minor injury. Ledbetter injured the leg again and went in for surgery last Thursday for a torn ACL.

“She is tough as nails,” said Gervis. “We miss her spirit. But she hasn’t missed a game or practice since she got hurt, that is dedication.”

The Islanders began last week with a game at Mount Si against the team directly ahead of them in the standings. Mercer Island began the game by giving up an early goal to the Wildcats at the nine-minute mark. The score was reminiscent of the early action during the two teams’ game earlier this year at Islander Stadium. Mount Si jumped out to a 1-0 lead after just 12 minutes of play. The Wildcats would go on to win that game 3-0. But just as Islander head coach Adam Gervis predicted, his players gave the Wildcats a run for their money this time around.

Islander Mary Hill took control of the ball at the 38-minute mark of the game, determined to get her team back within striking distance before halftime. Hill found teammate Chloe Snethen for the offense attack as the Islanders tied the game at 1-1. But Mount Si was not willing to settle for their fourth tie of the year and took the lead back 20 minutes into the second half and held on for the 2-1 victory.

“We should have beaten them, we had our chances,” said Gervis. “We are just very young. We had one sub for the entire game.”

More than half way through the regular season, only two things are for sure in the league standings — undefeated Issaquah is nearly assured of a playoff spot and the winless Interlake Saints are going in the opposite direction.

The Islanders started to get some players back for their game against Interlake Thursday. The game was a good chance for the Islanders to gain some momentum.

Not only was the game against a winless team but the match featured a halftime salute to the future of the program as it was youth soccer night. But most people might have thought it was a salute to the players on the field as Gervis had five freshmen suited up on the sidelines.

The varsity girls wasted little time taking advantage of the opportunities as Hill found Kara Lungmus for the 1-0 lead 18 minutes into the game.

Islander Jessica Pohl would add an unassisted goal at the 58-minute mark. The Islanders would not shutout the Saints as they did the first time the two teams met in September, as Interlake scored at the 65-minute mark.

Mercer Island still sits behind Mount Si in fifth place in KingCo with 12 points, three behind the Wildcats.

“If we can get some more people healthy, it could be interesting,” said Gervis. “We’ll see.”

One big plus for Gervis and the Islanders has been the play of Jessica Pohl. The senior played forward before Gervis moved her to defender this season.

“She is tough and has an attitude out there, and she has been one of our best defenders,” said Gervis.

The Islanders traveled to Issaquah on Tuesday (after Reporter deadline) and will travel to Newport (3-5) tomorrow. Mercer Island currently holds a slim one-point lead over the Knights.