MIHS Boys Soccer Earns First Victory of the Season


The Islanders’ sideline rushes the field in celebration after the scoring of one of MI’s four goals. Photo Courtesy Lila Medin

Katie Friedman and Emily Fain

Mercer Island High School Varsity Boys Soccer pulled off an impressive 4-1 win against Skyline during their first home game of the 2021-2022 season on Friday, March 18.

The ball traveled quickly over slick turf due to the rainy weather conditions, but Mercer Island’s defensive line, led by senior captain Cooper Gersh, remained calm.

Mercer Island’s offensive line performed a solid match, keeping up the energy and outrunning Skyline’s backline on numerous occasions.

“I think we could improve just physicality,” returning sophomore Nick Cho said. “We could win a lot more of the tackles or one-on-ones. But we did well defending, holding [Skyline] off the second half.”

Gersch scored the first goal of the game and season from his central defensive position 25 minutes into the first half.

Compared to the 2020-2021 season, the current team’s roster is nearly unrecognizable after 12 seniors graduated from the program in 2021.

“Just last season we had a really good team, it’s kind of hard to beat that team,” Cho said. “But this season we have some good players and I’m excited.”

MI’s second goal was scored with roughly two minutes left in the first half by junior Leo Berkley. This goal provided Mercer Island with a comfortable score cushion, up 2-0, going into the second half. 

The team was connecting consistent, clean passes and communicating with one another, and the score reflected such improvements. 

Coming into the second half, there was a new profound energy from both teams. Skyline’s offense continued to push up the field but the game’s physicality increased as stakes rose with the ticking clock. A Mercer Island-on-Skyline foul in the Islanders’ box called for a penalty kick, which was shot and scored by Skyline’s #18, the score settling at 2-1.

Throughout the second half, the referees’ failure to call evident fouls sent the MI student section into frequent uproar, resulting in energy in the stands competitive and electric. Additionally, the team environment is strong despite the loss of last year’s graduating seniors.

“We have a lot of new players but, I mean we’re a family, we do a lot of stuff together,” Cho said.

The Islanders clinched a solid victory with a final score of 4-1, setting their season record at 1-1.

The MIHS Boys Soccer Team will next face off at Interlake on Tuesday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m.