Issaquah ends regular season short of title goal

May 10, 2011

By Bob Taylor

The Issaquah High School boys soccer team planned to shoot for the 4A KingCo Conference title this season. However, just like the previous year, the Eagles finished a bit short of hitting the target.

Michael Roberts, Issaquah senior midfielder (right), battles Garfield’s Ben Feldman (6) and Preston Hale (10) in the last moments of their soccer match May 3. Roberts scored both goals for the Eagles in their 2-1 victory. By Greg Farrar

After beating Garfield 2-1 May 3, Issaquah ended the season with a 7-2-1 record and third in the league standings. The Eagles finished just three points behind co-leaders Eastlake and Skyline, who ended in a tie at 8-1-1. A year ago, the Eagles finished just one point behind the leaders.

But on the plus side for Issaquah, the Eagles attained another goal and that was to reach the league tournament. The Eagles qualified for the league tournament for the third straight year.

“Getting to the league tournament was a big goal of ours,” Issaquah coach Jason Lichtenberger said.

Lichtenberger said he is pleased with the team’s accomplishment, especially considering that eight starters from last season’s team graduated.

“This year’s team has been very motivated from the start,” Lichtenberger said. “It has been playing its best soccer down the stretch.”

Issaquah had a strong effort against Garfield, which won the KingCo tournament last year. Michael Roberts scored two goals to lead the Eagles.

Garfield scored in the seventh minute, but Roberts, assisted by Nick Smith and Drew Tacher, tied the scored just seconds before the end of the first half. Roberts, assisted by Zach Lawless, scored the game-winning goal at the 70th minute.

With the victory, Issaquah prevented Garfield from finishing in a three-way tie for first place. Although Garfield also ended at 7-2-1, Issaquah earned the No. 3 seed into the KingCo tournament because of the head-to-head victory.

The Eagles opened tournament play May 7 with a 3-0 victory against visiting Redmond at Gary Moore Stadium.

Lawless, assisted by Roberts, put Issaquah ahead at the 33rd minute. Akash Ramachandran, assisted by Alex Shane, gave the Eagles a 2-0 lead at the 44th minute. Nick Smith, assisted by Roberts, wrapped up Issaquah’s scoring 10 minutes later.

Issaquah goalkeeper Nathan King recorded the shutout.

With the victory, Issaquah met Garfield May 10 at Eastlake in a loser-out game. The winner will host the Western Conference No. 3 entry May 14.

Spartans outlast Woodinville

Skyline got a tough battle from Woodinville May 3, but the Spartans prevailed 2-1 in overtime.

Kyle Olmstead’s unassisted goal at the 83rd minute gave Skyline its victory. Jake Bechler gave Skyline a 1-0 lead at the 13th minute.

Skyline played Eastlake May 10 for the KingCo tournament title. Eastlake was seeded No. 1 because of its 1-0 victory against Skyline two weeks ago. By finishing first and second in the regular-season standings, both teams are bound for the state tournament.

Patriots fall to Interlake

Liberty, despite some strong efforts in the second half of the season, missed qualifying for the 3A KingCo tournament.

The Patriots, who lost to host Interlake 4-2 May 6, finished the season with a 4-8-2 league record.

Blake Kessler, assisted by Alex Velasquez, gave Liberty a 1-0 lead at the 20th minute. However, Interlake tied the score later in the first half on the first of two goals by Chad Shapard. The goal was the first of three straight for Interlake. Shapard got his second goal at the 50th minute and Dave Papenfus put the Saints ahead for good with a goal at the 60th minute.

Liberty’s final goal was scored by Danny Dapper at the 75th minute.

Bob Taylor: 392-6434, ext. 236, or bobtaylor@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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