Wildcats soccer stalls down the stretch

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SNOQUALMIE - The Mount Si Wildcats boys' soccer team looked for revenge and a playoff spot last Tuesday at home against Skyline, the team that ended last year's season in the playoffs. Unfortunately, neither occurred.

Goals by senior forward Mark Hanan and midfielder Adam Hankerson lifted the Spartans to a critical 2-1 victory over Mount Si. What hurt the most for the Wildcats, though, was not really the fact they lost, but that they also lost their best player, star junior forward Yosef Yetneberk.

In stoppage time in the second half, Yetneberk was assessed a red card for unsportsmanlike conduct. Despite protests by Mount Si coach Tom Bialek, referees ejected Yetneberk, and the top Wildcat offensive threat missed the Issaquah game Friday as a result of his suspension.

"We'll take it anytime we can come in here on this field and get some goals early, we'll be happy to come down. We've had a lot of tough games in this place as a school, and it's important for us to come down, get a goal early, like I said, and then hold on for the win," said Spartans coach Don Braman, whose team moved well ahead of Mercer Island in the race for home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Hankerson credited his team.

"The goal was great, but it wasn't on me, it was the whole team, everyone working hard," the midfielder said.

His goal came in the 47th minute after Hanan opened the scoring in the 21st minute. A late goal in the 78th minute by the Wildcats' senior defender Dan Barnes ended Skyline's shutout bid, but after Yetneberk's incident with the officials, Mount Si was out of it.

Friday the Wildcats had another chance to lock up a berth. Similar to their previous game though they failed to take care of business.

Senior midfielder Andrew Dortch scored with less than three minutes left in the second overtime to break what had been a scoreless tie to give the Issaquah Eagles a stunning 1-0 victory over Mount Si on the Wildcats' senior night.

"The end was heartbreaking. It's horrible to lose in overtime especially on your home field on senior night," said Wildcat senior midfielder Patrick Davis.

While the night may have been spoiled by Dortch's heroics, the contributions these seniors (Davis, Dan Barnes, Sean Macrae, Kellen Patterson, Ben Steel, Nick Swanson, and Dan Talevich) have made during their four years will certainly not be forgotten.

"Four years in the Mount Si soccer program has been a wonderful experience. This season has helped cap it off and I wouldn't trade anything for it," said Davis.

Dan Talevich has also enjoyed his four years in the program.

"I love the game of soccer and I've just loved being out here playing with my teammates, some of my best friends, playing hard every night," said Dan Talevich.

Not only has the midfielder played with his best friends, he's also played with his freshman brother, Andrew, also a midfielder, this season. Andrew has learned an awful lot from his brother and his teammates on the field.

"It's been amazing. My brother and this whole team has taught me to always fight, to play hard, to keep your head up and to be confident, and I'm able to learn from this and hopefully it'll help me in the future," said Andrew Talevich.

The Wildcats wrap up their regular season Friday night at Cedarcrest. Game time is 7:30 p.m., and a spot in the playoffs may be on the line.

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