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.”


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

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

Courtesy of Calder Productions
Girls basketball: Mt. Si beats Issaquah in conference action

Mount Si High School beat Issaquah 68-59 at home Jan. 5 in… Continue reading

file photo
Health department: COVID outbreaks linked to high school wrestling tournaments

At least 80 cases are tied to the events which included attendees from multiple counties and states.

Photo courtesy of Panthers Youth Rugby
Panthers Youth Rugby rolls into action

Panthers Youth Rugby is encouraging boys and girls in middle school and… Continue reading

Photo of Eastlake Little League’s All Star Team. From L to R: (Back row) Jackson Wheeler, Kellen Kinney, Sanath Chari, James Ort III, Sule Tian, Eli Jones, Pryce Eadon. (Front row) JJ Hamiltion, Sawyer Todd, Ryder Oswalt, Walter Steinbok, Logan Rausch, Harrison Militello. Photo Courtesy of Jeff Steinbok.
Eastlake’s time at Little League World Series comes to an end

The boys of Eastlake Little League’s 12U all-star team’s time at the… Continue reading

A Decatur High School student in Federal Way participates in a conditioning workout in Feb. 2021 as the state eased back in to in-person activities. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State announces mask requirements for student sports, performing arts

Athletes are not required to wear masks when participating in sports of any contact level while outside.

Teaser
Eastlake all-stars score spot in Little League World Series

Eastlake Little League’s 12U all star team was crowned Northwest Regional Champions… Continue reading

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Former Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman charged with five misdemeanors in King County

Charges were filed following an incident at home of Sherman’s in-laws in Redmond.

Screenshot
Redmond Police arrest former Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman

Redmond Police allege former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman crashed into a… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino unveiled the first immersive Seahawks-branded table game experience Sept. 18, 2020, in a ribbon cutting dedication with Snoqualmie Tribe Council members and Snoqualmie Casino executives. Courtesy photo
Gambling Commission OKs pacts with tribes for sports betting

Agreements with 15 tribes await approval by the governor and the feds.

t
Issaquah notches girls soccer victory

Issaquah’s girls soccer team celebrates a goal during its 4-0 victory over… Continue reading

t
Registration open for Panthers Youth Rugby

By Sophie Demandolx Special to the Reporter If you are a teenager… Continue reading

Kentwood High football. FILE PHOTO
WIAA Executive Board revises Season 1 sports in response to state guidelines

Practices scheduled to begin Feb. 1 for football, volleyball, soccer and 5 other sports