Soccer ends brutal season Seniors play hard as tough season finishes

Mount Si High School’s Chad Hennig works his way around an Issaquah defender during last week’s 1-0 loss to the Eagles. The game ended the Wildcat’s promising but ultimately difficult season.  - Jim McKiernan / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Mount Si High School’s Chad Hennig works his way around an Issaquah defender during last week’s 1-0 loss to the Eagles. The game ended the Wildcat’s promising but ultimately difficult season.
— image credit: Jim McKiernan / Snoqualmie Valley Record

The Mount Si High School boys’ soccer season ended on a down note last week, as they suffered two more losses to end what began as a promising season but turned into a very difficult one.

The Wildcats hosted the Issaquah Eagles last Tuesday, April 29, for their final home game of the season. It was the last for the program’s eight seniors: Chad Hennig, Kevin Isackson, McLean Webster, Matt Fujimoto, Adam Baumgardner, Ben Joselyn, Baker Borgen and Jeff Chapman. All were honored prior to the game for their four years in the program, and had their pictures taken with their parents.

Once the festivities were done, these seniors played their hearts out and tried their best to lift their Wildcat team to a victory, something which they have only seen once in the second half of the season. However, it was a late goal by an Eagle sophomore which dashed those hopes, and broke the hearts of the Mount Si faithful.

Lucas Morise, who had been a threat the entire game for Issaquah, scored the game’s lone goal in the 67th minute to lead the Eagles to a 1-0 win. The goal came on a breakaway past Mount Si defenders, and Morise fired the shot past Wildcat goalie Sam Evans to put it on the scoreboard.

Evans was seeing some of his first action of the season in goal; he is a goalie by trade, but had been switched to defense this year due to the large number of solid goaltenders in the program. Ahead of him on that stellar depth chart this season were junior Cody Tipton (who himself got to play in the field in the contest) and freshman Ryan Herman.

Wildcat coach Darren Brown will remember the class of 2008.

“They’re a great group of guys,” Brown said. “We had a lot of good runs, and I’m sad to see these eight go.

“They left a lot of good things here,” the coach added. “I’m just disappointed at the outcome because I thought we outplayed [Issaquah].”

“It was great, all four years of it, this year especially,” said senior Hennig, who plans on attending the U.S. Air Force Academy.

“The group has really come together,” he said. “I think this has been our best year as far as team chemistry has gone.”

Fellow senior Webster thinks his time in the program will be beneficial to him as an adult.

“It’s been a learning experience,” he said. “I have met a lot of great people and learned a lot of things I can take off the soccer field, and excel in life as well.”

Webster plans on attending Gonzaga University and majoring in engineering; both Hennig and Webster’s future soccer plans are unclear.

As for the remainder of the seniors, Fujimoto plans on attending the University of Washington; Baumgardner is looking to attend Bellevue Community College and major in criminal justice; Joselyn also appears to be headed to the UW; Borgen is headed to Western Washington University; Chapman is off to the Marine Corps, and Isackson is currently undecided.

Last Thursday, May 1, at Newport, the Wildcats got a late goal from Webster, but it was not enough as they fell 2-1 to a Knight team which has itself had a tough season. The Knights finished third in league this year, something which has not been seen much if at all in the last 30 years or so in that program. While Newport gets to go to the postseason again, Mount Si’s season, which had so much promise coming out of the first half, with a 3-1-4 mark, instead fell apart, as the team went 1-7 in the second half and finished with a 4-8-4 record.

Brown expects the growing pains will continue in 2009.

Mount Si sports fans can expect the team to be young, he said.

The good news for Mount Si fans is with the departure of Newport, Issaquah, and Skyline to 4A, the Wildcats’ chances of making the playoffs look better. But they still will have challenges from Mercer Island, Bellevue, and Sammamish within Kingco 3A. Also look out for newcomer Juanita, who will be part of the 3A division next season; they finished 8-2 in 4A league play this season.

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