After stringing together victories in three straight loser-out playoff games, the magic finally ran out for the Mountlake Terrace Hawks boys soccer team Tuesday as the squad fell to a relentless Mercer Island Islanders team 3-0 in the first round of the WIAA 3A State Boys Soccer Tournament.
With the loss, the Hawks’ 2016 season comes to an end with an overall record of 7-8-4.
In their first appearance in the state tournament since 1994, Terrace was pitted against an experienced Islander team that came into the tourney loaded with talent and a record to show it: 15-1-1.
Mercer Island showed their strength Tuesday all over the pitch, but especially in their midfield. “They had a lot of talented players in the midfield and we just didn’t have an answer for them,” said MTHS Coach George Dremousis.
“They were the better team today and they deserve it,” he added.
The Mercer Island midfield was able to control most of the game and persistently start offensive attacks that led to a total of 24 shots on the Terrace goal. Hawk junior goalkeeper Genaro Ruiz was forced into making 14 saves, including spectacular diving efforts in the 15th minute, 24th minute and the 68th minute.
“Genaro is a quality, quality goalkeeper; he comes up big every game,” Dremousis said. “He’s done it all year. He’s very, very talented.”
Despite his outstanding play, Ruiz was not able to get to three well-placed Islander shots that turned into goals. Mercer Island junior Eric Dreyer worked his way into the Terrace 18-yard box and blasted a shot past Ruiz for the first goal of the match in the 26th minute. The Islanders’ Austin Taylor added two second half goals: the first on a breakaway — his initial shot banged off the left goalpost but the senior was able to kick in the rebound — and the second on a quick turn inside the 18-yard box and a strike that bounced into the goal off the right goalpost.
While the Islanders were able to get off shots seemingly at will, Terrace was unable to generate any sustainable offense. Perhaps their best opportunity came late in the first half but ended in disaster as midfielder Gavin Scott was knocked down in the box trying to get to a free kick, fell to the turf hard and injured his left arm.
The junior had to be helped from the field and did not return to action.
“He may have broke his arm,” Dremousis said of Scott. “He clearly, in my estimation, got pulled down in the box by the shirt. We all saw it that way. And when the (defender) came down — I don’t think he came down intentionally — he came down straight on his arm.”
No foul was called and no penalty shot was awarded to Terrace on the play.
“I think it’s a penalty right there,” Dremousis stressed, “We don’t get the penalty and (Gavin’s) out.”
Without Scott on the field, Dremousis believed his team’s ability to look dangerous on offense suffered. “We moved a couple guys to center mid that hadn’t played center mid and it really hurt us,” he said.
Despite the loss on Tuesday, Dremousis told his squad after the game that they should feel good about what they accomplished this year. “I told them they should feel proud,” he explained. “I said twenty classes before you guys graduated without making it to state.”
“When we took over we said we had a five-year plan to get to state tournament; we made it in three,” he continued. “The off-season starts now. We want to work our tails off to get back here next year.”
Junior co-captain Sam Polveroy echoed Dremousis’ assessment of the 2016 season and the outlook for the future. “At the end of the game, when I was in the circle with the boys, I said you should be proud of how far you got — disappointed with how we lost, (but) stay hungry,” Polveroy stated. “We’ll be back next year better than ever.”
Terrace’s Mike Jenson finished third in the District 1 3A Boys Golf Tournament that finished play on Tuesday at Snohomish Golf Course. After leading by a single stroke after Monday’s first round, Jenson stumbled with a nine-over-par 81 to place behind district champion Quinton Borseth of Stanwood and runner-up Andrew Martin of Everett.
With his third-place finish, Jenson earned a spot in the WIAA 3A State Boys Golf Championships to be played next week in Spokane. Jenson was the only Hawk to qualify for state.
At the District 1 3A Girls Tennis Championships, Terrace’s Tina Liu won two straight singles’ matches Tuesday at Arlington High School and will now play for the district singles’ title on Wednesday. Liu defeated Aleida Garduno-Cravioto and Livia Markwart, both of Arlington, to qualify for the district finals, where she will face Shorewood’s undefeated Sasha Gaeth.
By reaching the district finals, Liu has already punched her ticket to the WIAA 3A State Tennis Championships to be played next week.
Prep Boys Soccer: Mountlake Terrace at Mercer Island, May 17 (first round of WIAA 3A State Boys Soccer Tournament)
Mountlake Terrace 0 0 — 0
Mercer Island 1 2 — 3
Eric Dreyer (Mercer Island) in the 26th minute
Austin Taylor (Mercer Island) in the 48th minute
Austin Taylor (Mercer Island) in the 58th minute
Juan Lopez (Mountlake Terrace) in the 6th minute
Daniel Shen (Mercer Island) in first half extra time
Bobby Stoyanov (Mountlake Terrace) in the 53rd minute
Records: Mountlake Terrace 8-9-4 overall; Mercer Island 16-1-1 overall
Mountlake Terrace next match: 2016 season completed
Prep Boys Golf: District 1 3A Boys Golf Tournament, May 17 (Snohomish Golf Course, 18 holes, par 72)
Top individual scorers (two-day totals; all qualify for state tournament May 24-25)
1. Quinton Borseth (Stanwood) 73 — 72 — 145
2. Andrew Martin (Everett) 73 — 77 — 150
3. Mike Jenson (Mountlake Terrace) 72 — 81 — 153
4. Austin Faux (Arlington) 76 — 78 — 154
5. Colin Strobeck (Edmonds-Woodway) 79 — 76 — 155
6. (tie) Tyler Spalti (Glacier Peak) 80 — 78 — 158
6. (tie) Nathan Venables (Marysville-Pilchuck) 83 — 75 — 158
8. Rui Nakagawa (Lynnwood) 79 — 80 — 159
9. (tie) Conner Stephens (Arlington) 78 — 83 — 161
9. (tie) James Iazeolla (Glacier Peak) 84 — 77 — 161
11. Dane Larsen (Ferndale) 81 — 81 — 162
12. (tie) Keenan Souve (Ferndale) 84 — 80 — 164
12. (tie) Bradley Wong (Shorewood) 80 — 84 — 164
14. (tie) J.D. Trueax (Marysville-Pilchuck) 81 — 84 — 165
14. (tie) Cody Oakes (Arlington) 81 — 84 — 165
16. Haven Brown (Oak Harbor) 83 — 84 — 167
17. Kole Johnson (Stanwood) 85 — 84- 169
Prep Girls Tennis: District 1 3A Girls Tennis Tournament, May 17
Mountlake Terrace results
Singles: Tina Liu (Mountlake Terrace) defeated Aleida Garduno-Cravioto (Arlington), no scores reported; Tina Liu (Mountlake Terrace) defeated Livia Markwart (Arlington) 6-3, 6-4
Mountlake Terrace next match: Tina Liu (Mountlake Terrace) versus Sasha Gaeth (Shorewood) in District 1 3A Girls Tennis Tournament singles’ final, Wednesday, May 18, 1:00 p.m. at Arlington High School (both qualify for state tournament May 27-28
— By Doug Petrowski