Liberty nets another draw with Mercer Island
May 1, 2013
By Christina Corrales-Toy
UPDATED: The Liberty High School boys soccer team clinched the KingCo title with a 2-1 victory against Mount Si on May 2.
Connor Noblat and Josh Johnson scored the two goals for the Patriots.
The win means that Liberty now goes directly to the state tournament, where it will host the No. 3 team from the WesCo 3A tournament at 7 p.m. May 15.
Liberty has had a dominant season so far, posting a 10-1-3 conference record. The team’s only loss this season was against Bellevue.
The Liberty High School boys soccer team has gone toe to toe with Mercer Island twice this season, both games resulting in draws.
It’s an admirable feat against an Islander team that placed second at state last year, but that has little bearing on the league-leading Patriots’ minds as they prepare to wrap up the regular season.
“We’re hoping it’s our year,” Liberty coach Darren Tremblay said after the Patriots’ earned a scoreless draw against Mercer Island April 26.
As the Liberty players left the Mercer Island field with nothing but zeroes on the scoreboard, their faces carried a marked look of disappointment after an intense, hard-fought 90 minutes of play, including overtime.
“We’re frustrated because we feel like we were the better team,” Tremblay said. “We had a lot of shots, a lot of opportunities, but everything we hit went right to their keeper. Give him credit though, he’s good, and we knew that.”
Mercer Island senior keeper Sam Miller put together a dominant performance against the Patriots, making several impressive saves to thwart Liberty’s offensive attack.
Liberty goalkeeper Nate Mak was credited with the shutout.
It was a particularly physical game between the two conference foes. The official issued at least three yellow cards and Liberty’s senior captain Jared Bales was nursing an injury at the end of the game.
“I thought the referee let it get too physical and get a little bit borderline out of control,” Tremblay said. “The safety of the kids, that’s their first priority, and their coach agreed that it just got a little bit ugly.”
Despite the tie, the Patriots are still where they need to be in the league standings as the final week of the regular season gets underway. At press time, Liberty sat atop the KingCo 3A/2A Conference with an 11-0-3 record.
It’s likely that the KingCo 3A/2A champion will be determined May 2 when Liberty travels to Mount Si, but the results were not available at press time.
“We want to try and wrap things up before we travel to Mount Si,” Tremblay said. “We don’t want to be just a game up heading to their place, on their senior night, because that could be tough. That place is tough to play in.”
It’s been a successful season for the Patriots, ranked third in the state, according to Score Czar. Score Czar offers computer rankings based solely on numbers. The ranking is based on results through April 28.
“Right now, it doesn’t mean much. It’s just a ranking,” Tremblay said. “We know we have a target on our back, but these guys have played consistent all year. We haven’t had a letdown game.”