Sports

Soccer team battles to overcome struggles in second half of season Saints defeat Wildcats

Adam Baumgardiner works the ball around an Interlake defender in last week’s 2-0 loss to the Saints. Losses in the second half of the season have nixed any hopes that Mount Si might make the playoffs.  - Mary Miller / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Adam Baumgardiner works the ball around an Interlake defender in last week’s 2-0 loss to the Saints. Losses in the second half of the season have nixed any hopes that Mount Si might make the playoffs.
— image credit: Mary Miller / Snoqualmie Valley Record

This spring has turned into a season of extremes for the Mount Si High School boys’ soccer team.

The Wildcats enjoyed a strong first-half start that caused some observers to think that the playoffs were a distinct possibility. However, the second half has been completely the opposite, as the team has struggled both offensively and defensively, and the Wildcats’ playoff chances have been quashed. The toll of the season finally showed up for Mount Si last Friday, April 26, as they played an Interlake squad that the Wildcats beat earlier this season.

As in most other games in the second half of the season, the Wildcats struggled scoring goals, made mistakes on defense that cost Mount Si goals, and felt all-around frustration as they fell 2-0 to the Saints. The loss was so disappointing to Mount Si coach Darren Brown that he declined comment to the Valley Record following the contest.

Mount Si played without three key pieces. They started the game without the services of sophomore forward/midfielder Doug Silvius, who was injured. In the 21st minute, captain Kevin Isackson was lost following a controversial yellow card on a trip of an Interlake player. Isackson has been taken out of games most of this season following yellow cards; this the result of the red card he got at the March 14 game with Skyline. Then, freshman goalie Ryan Herman, who has started in the second half of games all season, was unable to make his start with an apparent injury, leaving it up to junior Cody Tipton to take the load. Tipton played well once again, but defensive mistakes hurt the Wildcats.

Interlake’s first goal came in the 27th minute. Senior Nathan McGuire got past the Wildcat defense, and fired a shot that deflected off of Tipton and into the net. Mount Si had opportunities to get on the board, with Ben Joselyn, Eric Baumgardner and Chad Hennig getting great chances. However, nothing went into the net, and the Saints maintained their lead, sealing it with a breakaway by sophomore midfielder Andy Fordyce in the 52nd minute. It would have been 3-0 later in the second half, as the Saints got another wide-open break, but a strong effort by Joselyn on defense to catch up to that attempt saved the Wildcats.

Jeff Chapman got a great scoring chance in the 74th minute, as he shot a wicked header, but like everything else on this night, it couldn’t find the back of the net. These offensive struggles have been evident all season. Mount Si has scored just 10 goals all season, and they haven’t scored one in two games since scoring once in an April 16 loss to Bellevue. The Wildcats had a similar struggle on offense, going scoreless in four straight games leading up to their last win, April 14 at Liberty.

Mount Si plays its final games of the season this week, against Issaquah and Newport. The game against the Eagles, played Tuesday, April 22, was the Wildcats’ senior night, where seniors Hennig, Isackson, Joselyn, Chapman, McLean Webster, Adam Baumgardner, Matt Fujimoto, and Baker Borgen were all to be honored for their service to the Mount Si soccer program. Thursday’s game is at Newport, with a start time of 7:30 p.m.

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