By Ethan Preston | with reporting by Wesley Ho, Grady Short and Bill Wang
After a season-long undefeated streak, Mercer Island Girls Soccer lost to Prairie (2)1-1(4) in the State Championship quarterfinals match.
This highly anticipated match was the final home game for Mercer Island’s 15 seniors, regardless of whether they advanced to the semifinals.
The game opened extremely strong for Mercer Island, as midfielder Jackie Gilroy scored an early goal in the 18’ off a corner kick to give the team an early lead.
Mercer Island continued to dominate possession time until the conclusion of the first half, completely shutting down any offensive movement from Prairie.
“[Mercer Island] has dominated Prairie [in the first half],” fan Max Medin said, “But in last 10 minutes Prairie has stepped it up, they’re trying to put pressure on [Mercer Island’s] defenses, but overall [Mercer Island] has been playing very well.”
From the beginning of the second half, Prairie began to assert their dominance over Mercer Island. A goal by Prairie in the 48’ tied the game 1-1, giving them the momentum for rest of the half.
As the rest of regulation progressed, the match became extremely physical, with rough play and penalties coming from both teams.
After both teams failed to score in the remainder of the second half, the game advanced into overtime for the second time in three games. Both overtime periods were scoreless, sending the game into a penalty kick shootout.
Emily Yang: Score
Jackie Gilroy: Miss
Lanie Martin: Miss
Ashley Rudd: Score
A major key to Prairie’s success in penalty kicks was their goalie substitution, which managed to get Mercer Island to miss twice.
“This game was a hard fought battle,” sophomore Emily Yang said. “Prairie came into it really strong, and it got really physical and emotional.”
This season was an overall success for Mercer Island’s experienced roster, according to Yang.
“This season was a really good way to end for our 15 seniors,” Yang said. “Even though we didn’t get as far into the semis or state as we wanted to, we still played well.”
Going forward, Mercer Island will have to live without their 15 seniors that will be graduating this year, and they will be looking to their current JV squad for support next year.
“What makes our team good though is the grit, so if the girls coming up from JV have that, then we should be fine,” Yang said.