The Issaquah Eagles just ran out of time against the Mount Si Wildcats with a berth in the 4A state soccer semifinals on the line.
Issaquah, which trailed 3-1 with 29 minutes left in regulation, cut Mount Si’s lead to 3-2 when Jack Higgins found the back of the net after receiving a perfect pass off of a corner kick from Taiga Crenshaw with just 16 minutes left in the game. With eight minutes left, Issaquah had a header shot on goal that caromed off the crossbar that would had tied the game. The Eagles wouldn’t get any closer as the Wildcats held on for a 3-2 victory in the 4A state quarterfinals on May 18 at Gary Moore Stadium in Issaquah.
The Eagles finished the 2019 season with an overall record of 11-4-2.
Crenshaw, who recorded his team’s first goal of the game in the 50th minute, thought his squad had the momentum as the second half wore on.
“I thought we had it. We were definitely coming back. We had the momentum and had some chances that we could had finished. That is how soccer goes sometimes. Mount Si played us tough. They were definitely really good but I think we played a good enough game to make it close. It was just unfortunate we couldn’t get that goal to tie it up and put it into overtime,” Crenshaw said.
The journey to the 4A state quarterfinals was a memorable one for the Eagles. Issaquah won two loser-out games (victories against North Creek and Skyline) to keep its season alive in the Wes-King 4A district soccer tournament. The resiliency of the Eagles is something Crenshaw, who will play college soccer at Loyola University Chicago next season, will cherish for years to come.
“We’ve worked so hard for this season. This is an incredible team. We’ve gone the furthest we’ve ever gone for Issaquah soccer. This is the year of soccer that I have played here. I’m going to remember these guys,” Crenshaw said.
Issaquah head coach Kyle Tatro agreed wholeheartedly with Crenshaw’s assessment.
“These guys have a lot of heart and determination. They really wanted it this season. Nothing was going to get in their way, no matter what it took,” Tatro said. “They were going to fight their way to get to state (playoffs).”
Saying goodbye to the Eagles senior class (11 players) was difficult for Tatro.
“They’re absolutely amazing. They led with such heart and character in every single game and every single practice. They’re an amazing group of guys,” Tatro said.