No one on the young inexperienced Islander team , but no one imagined it would be this tough either.
(0-7) dropped two more games this week, one vs. non-league opponent Castaway Polo Athletes (CPA) and the other vs. across the bridge league rival Newport Knights.
Currently ranked first in state, Newport (7-1) won the opening sprint and quickly built a 6-1 lead in the first quarter. Even when Mercer Island was able to retain ball possession there seemed to be no outlet for passing as field players struggled to separate from defenders.
By half-time the Islanders were down 3-12.
When the two teams faced off earlier this season the Islanders were stymied by Newport’s Lee Griffin, the league’s top hole set (similar to a "center" in basketball). Griffin scored over half the team goals during the Knights early season victory.
""The strategy this time was to shut down Griffin and let the team (Newport) beat us instead of just one guy," said MIHS head coach John Jacobson. "We were able to contain the hole set but needed to play more help defense."
Unfortunately for the Islanders, the Newport field players did step up to score repeatedly when their “go to” guy was shut down by double coverage. Newport was able to put in most of its goals from the outside unchallenged. MI goalie Kenny Trowbridge managed 14 saves during the assault.
“I give a lot of credit to Farah Kunkel (Newport head coach) for making the adjustments to our different game plan,” said Jacobson. “Newport is one of the top teams so we had to play and execute our game plan well to be in the mix.”
When asked what the Islanders needed to do to make progress Jacobson pointed to a greater awareness of spacing, better switching on coverage and shot clock management.
Next week the Islanders will face Roosevelt High at home Monday night 7:45 p.m. at the , free admission, then face Bainbridge away on Wednesday.
Stat Line vs. Newport
Sam Peterson - 5 goals, 1 assist
Topher LaCrampe - 1 goal, 2 assists
Chris Merritt - 1 goal, 1 steal
Kenny Trowbridge – 14 saves
Mercer Isl. 1