The Islanders were hoping for a repeat of last year's state semifinal when they , on their way to winning the state title — but history rarely repeats itself.
Bellevue High School muscled its way back to the Washington Lacrosse Boys State Championship with a unlikely road semifinal win over defending state champion Mercer Island, Wednesday at Islander Stadium on Mercer Island.
The Bellevue playoff win, a decisive 13–2 blow that knocked the defending state champion Islanders from state title contention, put the Wolverines back into the Division I state title game for the first time since 2010. It’s just the Wolverines’ second state title appearance since 1992. Bellevue has played in a combined 17 boys Division I and II state championship games since beginning play in 1979. It’s the 20th overall state title appearance for the school.
In the Comcast televised state title matchup at 6 p.m., Saturday at Seattle’s Memorial Stadium, Bellevue takes on Eastside Catholic 14-3-0 overall (11-3-0 in the regular season), which is making its first appearance in the boys Division I title game.
Bellevue, which has compiled a 19-2-0 overall record (17-2-0 in regular season play) including an 8-7 win over the Islanders on May 5, held MI scoreless in the first and fourth quarters while allowing only single goals in the second and third. The Wolverines scored four in the each of the first and second quarters while adding three in the third and another two in the fourth.
Cole Johnson led the way for Bellevue with five goals and two ground balls, while Drew Douglas connected for three goals, three assists and two ground balls. On the way to the win, the Bellevue defense shut down MI’s leading scorer Connor Bernal (46 goals and 11 assists in the regular season) who averaged four per game in the regular season and six in the playoffs and Zac Stickney to throw the Islanders off their rhythm. Bernall managed to put just three of his four shots on goal, while the Wolverine defense kept Stickney from ever getting a shot off.
MI scoring came completely from Hayden Reisman with two goals. Carlos Barrios had 10 saves in goal.
In the 34-year history of lacrosse play at Bellevue High School, the Wolverines’ Division I squad won it all in 2010, won three straight from 1989 to 1991 and four straight between 1983 and 1986. Bellevue’s boys Division II squad won it all in 1998 and 1995. For the girls, Bellevue appeared in the 1993 while the Wolverines’ Division II squad won it all in 2003 and was runner-up to Snohomish in 2008.
In their only matchup this season, Bellevue fell to the Crusaders 12-11 April 3 at the Eastside Catholic School.
Mercer Island finishes its season with a 15-7-0 record (14-6-0 regular season record).
In the other boys Division I state semifinal, Eastside Catholic defeated King’s Way 13 – 8 to earn the Crusaders’ first trip to the boys Division I final. In boys, Division II play, Snohomish and Garfield each won their semifinals to advance to Saturday’s Division II state title game.
Bellevue 4 4 3 2 -- 13
Mercer Island 0 1 1 0 -- 2
Scoring Summary: Bellevue: Cole Johnson, B, 5 goals, 2 ground balls; Drew Douglas, B, 3 goals, 3 assists, 2 ground balls; Andrew Gulrajani, B, 2 goals, 1 assist, 1 ground ball; Hank Bethke, B, 1 goal, 1 assist, 5 ground balls; Blake Samuel, B, 1 goal, 1 assist; Hunter Lien, B, 1 goal, 2 ground balls; Blake Becker, B, 1 assist, 4 ground balls; Nick Hutson, B, 1 assist, 1 ground ball; Simon Jenkin, B, 1 assist, 7 ground balls; Austin Boyd, B, 11 saves; Mercer Island: Hayden Reisman, MI, 2 goals; Carlos Barrios, MI, 10 saves, 3 ground balls; Benji Rothenberg, MI, 3 saves)