Issaquah tops Skyline in third try of season, MacIlvennie, Gevers shine for EC and Issaquah | Best of Issaquah-Sammamish Sports 2013

The Eagles beat rival Skyline in girls soccer after three tries, while Eastside Catholic and Issaquah garner Athlete of the Year honors.

Game of the Year: Issaquah-Skyline girls soccer, 4A state tournament quarterfinals

The Eagles got three tries at their neighborhood rivals for the second straight girls soccer season, and made it pay off, beating Skyline in a shootout to advance to the 4A state semi-finals.

Issaquah was unable to top the Spartans in the final game of the regular season, or in the conference title game a week later.

But in a win-or-go-home situation for each team, it was the Eagles that prevailed, getting a second half goal before taking the penalty kick round to return to the favor to a Skyline program that beat them in last year’s state championship game.

Surprise of the Year: Crusaders return to title game in football

Eastside Catholic defenders swarm an Irish ball carrier during their semi-final win. JOSH SUMAN, ISSAQUAH-SAMMAMISH REPORTER

Eastisde Catholic made its first ever state title game appearance in football in 2012, in only the second year under head coach Jeremy Thielbahr.

In 2013, the Crusaders repeated that feat in even more impressive fashion.

It looked like rival O’Dea would once again ascend past EC after a lopsided win during the regular season at Charlie Acosta Field, followed by a Metro League title for the Irish.

But in a state semi-final rematch, that loss was avenged in a major way, as the Crusaders won 28-14 to get back to the championship game.

All of that came despite losing 25 seniors from its 2012 team, and breaking in a new starting quarterback in sophomore Harley Kirsch.

Male Athlete of the Year: Colin MacIlvennie, Eastside Catholic football, lacrosse

When the year began, MacIlvennie was one of several standout players across the state on the lacrosse field and completely unfamiliar with football.

Twelve months later, he solidified his status as a top-flight prospect by signing with the University of Maryland for lacrosse, and also played a prominent role for the Crusaders on the gridiron at wide recevier.

The top scorer for his team last season, MacIlvennie tallied 73 points while leading his team to the state semi-finals.

After being approached by football coach Jeremy Thielbahr about the possibility of joining the team in the fall, MacIlvennie ended up as the team’s second leading pass catcher, hauling in 47 balls for 850 yards and nine scores.

When the lacrosse season begins again in the spring, MacIlvennie and the Crusaders will be one of the favorites to make a deep postseason run.

Female Athlete of the Year: Gabrielle Gevers, Issaquah swimming, track and field

Issaquah’s Gabrielle Gevers will finish her high school career on the track in 2014, but made plenty of memories during the past year. JOSH SUMAN, ISSAQUAH-SAMMAMISH REPORTER

The Issaquah senior finished an outstanding prep career with two more trips to state, first in track and field and then at her final swim and dive meet as a prep (with her senior season on the track still to come).

During the spring, Gevers and the Eagles were second at the 4A state track and field meet in the 1,600 meter relay, just fractions of a second behind champion Ballard. Issaquah was fourth in the 800 meter relay, with Gevers as the anchor, and she also finished in sixth place in the 100 meter dash.

At the 4A state swim and dive meet, she was one of four swimmers that helped her team to a win in the B Final of the 400 free relay, and also finished second in the B Final of the 200 free relay.

Gevers also competed in a pair of individual events, winning the B Final of the 50 free and finishing fifth in the B Final of the 100 free.