Islanders end Wildcats' playoff soccer dreams

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SNOQUALMIE - For the Mount Si Wildcats boys' soccer team it was a tough-luck season.

Despite six wins in Kingco play, they finished with six losses, many of which came in overtime. This team was heartbroken far too often, and their hearts were broken for the final time last Tuesday when Mercer Island defeated the Wildcats in a first-round, loser-out Kingco playoff game.

Taylor Odegard and Cameron Galloway each scored a goal, and Adam Jacobson picked up two assists as the Islanders downed Mount Si 2-1 at Mount Si High School.

Mercer Island Coach Steve Newman praised his team's effort on the Odegard goal.

"We work on set plays and it was all set up. We just knew that we could do this one because they didn't have a man on the outside and we took it to them," Newman said. "I want to say that Mount Si played extremely tough. [Yosef Yetneberk] is extremely tough. Danny Barnes had a wonderful goal [to] get them back in the game, [and] get everybody pumped up. [Wildcats] goalkeeper [Kellen Patterson] played exceptionally well."

From the start of the game it clearly looked as if Mount Si would be in for a tough fight. Galloway got the first solid scoring chance for the Islanders in the third minute of play. The Wildcats responded by getting several of their own, including one by freshman defender Kyle Wiley in the 21st minute, which was stopped by Mercer Island senior goalkeeper Andrew Parker.

The Islanders turned right around on the next possession and scored the first goal of the game, a shot by Galloway zoomed into the back of the net to give Mercer Island the lead.

Mount Si midfielder Dan Talevich came close to tying the game up in the 26th minute, but his shot glanced off the crossbar. Forward Yetneberk had several great chances late in the first half, but couldn't convert.

In the 50th minute the Islanders were fouled in the penalty area, giving them a penalty kick attempt that went over the net.

There was hope on the Wildcats' side, but that hope was dashed in the 56th minute on a textbook play. Mercer Island senior Bennett Addison, on a free kick, passed the ball to Jacobson, a sophomore, bypassing a Mount Si defensive wall in the process. Jacobson then passed the ball by a diving Patterson to a waiting Odegard, a senior, and he shot the ball at close range, putting it in the back of the net for a 2-0 Islanders lead.

"Practice makes perfect. We looked at them in practice and tried a whole bunch of different plays, and it was awesome because we just sat there in the top of the box and I just said, '[Jacobson], let's do [play] number three,' and Bennett [Addison] said 'I'll play it, [Jacobson] said 'I'll play it back, and I said, 'Look at me [on] the other side of the wall', and it worked like clockwork. Couldn't have done it any better," Odegard said.

Wildcat defender Barnes scored to cut the deficit in half in the 63rd minute, but despite a furious comeback, the Islanders held on for the win.

Mount Si coach Tom Bialek summed up the season.

"Overall, [the] year was mixed. We were so close, but we never really quite figured out how to break through. We lost seven games all by a goal, so that part's a little disappointing, but great group of kids, great group of guys, worked hard and treated each other well, classy kids," said Bialek.

Defender Patrick Davis echoed the sentiment.

"There are some, about three or four minutes on the end of about four games, that we wish we could redo, but I think as I look back over this season, I'm proud of what we accomplished as a team," Davis said.

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