Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
                                The Issaquah Eagles girls soccer team hoists the championship trophy following their 2-1 victory against the Central Valley Bears in the Class 4A girls soccer state title game on Nov. 18 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography The Issaquah Eagles girls soccer team hoists the championship trophy following their 2-1 victory against the Central Valley Bears in the Class 4A girls soccer state title game on Nov. 18 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

Issaquah earns state soccer championship

In the immediate seconds following the final whistle signaling the end of the Class 4A state soccer championship game, Issaquah head coach Tom Bunnell was mobbed by his assistant coaches in a moment of jubilation.

Issaquah registered a 2-1 victory against the Central Valley Bears, clinching the state title on Nov. 18 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. Bunnell, who announced in late October that this season would be his final one as the Eagles’ head coach, went out a champion in his last game leading the soccer program.

Issaquah senior midfielder Catey Nelson, who scored a goal in the 26th minute tying the game at 1-1, said the program wouldn’t be where it is right now without Bunnell’s dedication. The head coach has now won five state championships during his coaching career at Issaquah.

“We could not be more happy because he is the reason we’re here. Doing this for him (winning a state title) is one of the reasons we’re here. It is awesome,” Nelson explained. “We’ve been working for this all year. For most of us it’s our senior year (16 seniors on 2017 roster) and this is probably just the greatest thing most of us have ever been a part of. Winning state completely exemplifies how happy we are to play together as a team.”

Issaquah senior forward Mariah Van Halm, who found the back of the net in the 29th minute on a perfect ground ball shot into the left side of the goal, gave her team a 2-1 lead they wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the game.

“I’m so overwhelmed with joy. I haven’t cried so much in my life. It is the best feeling in the world,” Van Halm said just minutes after the game ended. “It is so surreal. I wouldn’t want to go out any other way.”

Bunnell said the Eagles’ undeniable team camaraderie played a pivotal role in attaining the pinnacle in the world of high school soccer.

“They all love each other. This is like movie stuff. It is amazing. I’m so proud of them. It is such a great team, such a great story and such a great school,” he said. “I”m so proud of what we’ve done as a program since I have been here, and all the cool kids I have coached. It makes me happy to leave like this. What a celebration this is.”

Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
                                Issaquah players embrace each other after defeating Central Valley 2-1 in the Class 4A state championship game on Nov. 18 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography Issaquah players embrace each other after defeating Central Valley 2-1 in the Class 4A state championship game on Nov. 18 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
                                Issaquah head coach Tom Bunnell, center, celebrates with assistant coaches in the seconds after the Eagles defeated the Central Valley Bears in the Class 4A state soccer title game.

Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography Issaquah head coach Tom Bunnell, center, celebrates with assistant coaches in the seconds after the Eagles defeated the Central Valley Bears in the Class 4A state soccer title game.

More in Sports

Issaquah Eagles 2019 graduate Cooper Thieme will attend Montana State University this fall. Thieme, who will not continue his baseball career in college, plans on majoring in mechanical engineering. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Thieme will always cherish final season of high school baseball

Issaquah 2019 grad Cooper Thieme reflects on final season on the diamond.

Goucher to host summer baseball camp on Eastside

Former professional baseball player and Atlanta Braves scout Steve Goucher will conduct… Continue reading

Seattle Mariners legend Edgar Martinez, left, and Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone, right, collaborated on a book titled, “Edgar: An Autobiography.” Martinez and Stone attended a book signing on June 12 at Barnes Noble in Bellevue. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Legendary Mariner meets a plethora of fans

Edgar Martinez visits Bellevue Barnes & Noble to promote his book.

Issaquah Eagles football player Solomon Hawkins (No. 45) gives maximum effort in the broad jump on June 3 at Gary Moore Stadium in Issaquah. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Eagles conduct combine in anticipation of the 2019 season

New head football coach Josh Brookshire implements his mode of operation immediately.

Issaquah Eagles senior Taiga Crenshaw (pictured) earned first-team, all league honors as a midfielder during the 2019 season. Crenshaw will continue his soccer career at Loyola University Chicago next season. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Eagles soccer squad collects bevy of awards

Issaquah boys soccer team advanced to 4A state quarterfinals this spring.

Tami Reese, who previously was the head volleyball coach at Ballard High School for 20 seasons, is the new varsity head coach of the Issaquah Eagles volleyball squad. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Reese will lead the Issaquah volleyball program

Former Ballard Beavers head coach lands head-coaching position at Issaquah.

Issaquah Eagles sophomore hurdler Matt Wilkinson finished in first place in the 300 hurdles at the 4A KingCo track championships with a time of 39.85. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Wilkinson captures first-place finish in 300 hurdles

Sophomore is proving himself on the track.

Issaquah Eagles senior Sam Griffith earned first place in the 800 at 2019 4A KingCo track championships at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Griffith earns first place in the 800

Issaquah senior finishes in top spot.

Issaquah Eagles sophomore Julia David-Smith captured first place at the 2019 KingCo Championships in the 4A girls 3,200 with a time of 10:59.05 on May 8 at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland. David-Smith also earned a first-place finish in the 1,600 with a time of 5:00.37. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
David-Smith cruises to first place finishes in the 3,200 and 1,600

Issaquah distance runner continues to dominate.

Issaquah Eagles leadoff hitter Tyler Reese (pictured at the plate) prepares for a pitch unveiled by Jackson freshman pitcher Dominic Hellman in the top of the first inning. Issaquah defeated Jackson, 5-2, in a loser-out, 4A Wes-King playoff game on May 8 at Everett Memorial Stadium. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Resilient Eagles stay alive with triumph in loser-out game

Issaquah’s Jack Githens’ three-RBI double in the top of fourth was crucial.

Issaquah senior forward Gavin Herman battles with a Skyline player in front of the goal. Issaquah defeated Skyline, 3-1, to keep its season alive on May 7. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Eagles defeat Spartans in loser-out game

Issaquah earns clutch victory.

Josh Brookshire, who coached for the past two seasons for the College of Idaho Yotes football program, was hired as the Issaquah Eagles head football coach on April 19. Photo courtesy of Josh Brookshire
Leader of the birds

Josh Brookshire lands Issaquah Eagles head football coaching position.