Mercer Island Captures Washington Boys' Title

Behind its modus operandi of stifling defense and an efficient, well-balanced offense, the Mercer Island boys' lacrosse team captured the 2011 Washington High School Boys' Lacrosse Association (WHSBLA) state championship on Saturday with a 5-3 win over rival Bainbridge Island.

The victory marked the program's fifth overall state title and first since '06. The Islanders one of the Western Region's most consistent programs over the past decade were also making their 10th state championship game appearance in the last 11 years.

Goaltender Brian Bernstein led the way for the Islanders with a game-high 14 saves and held Bainbridge Island to just one goal over the first three quarters of action. Including Saturday's finale, the Islanders held their opponents to an average of just 4.3 goals per game this season.

Bainbridge Island got on the board first thanks to a goal by Jacob Knostman at the 10:49 mark. However, Mercer Island quickly rebounded and tallied three consecutive scores to go up 3-1 at the end of the half. The Islanders tallied the only goal of the second quarter to take a commanding 4-1 lead into intermission.

The third quarter proved to be a defensive affair. With both goalies playing strong and defenses applying aggressive checks to thwart high-percentage shot opportunities, neither squad registered a goal. However, in the fourth quarter, the Islanders put things out of reach when Zac Stickney scored his second goal of the game early in the stanza. Despite a pair of late scores by Bainbridge Island's Alex Crane, the Islanders were able to hold on for the two-goal victory.

In additional to Stickney's two scores, attackman Matt Shields added a pair of goals and midfielder Doug Mahony added another. Bainbridge Island goalie Reynolds Yarbrough had eight saves for his squad and was a key factor in the Spartans keeping close throughout.

Mercer Island (21-2 overall) finishes the campaign undefeated against in-state opponents. The only programs that defeated the Islanders were Concord Carlisle (MA) and Oregon Episcopal (OR). Additional season highlights include a pair of wins over '10 state champion Bellevue and a thrilling upset win over national power Duxbury (MA).

Bainbridge Island ends the season 17-3 overall and posted impressive victories over Oregon Episcopal, Issaquah, and Bellevue during the '11 campaign.

Boys' Division II Lacrosse: Woodinville Wins First State Title in Second Year as Program

In just its second season as a varsity program, the Woodinville boys' lacrosse team won its first state championship with a 10-7 victory over Sammamish on Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Seattle.

J.D. Chapman scored a game-high four goals and added a pair of assists for Woodinville, which finished the season undefeated at 18-0. Daniel McKee and Colter Clinch also combined for four goals for Woodinville. Neil Hones led the way for Sammamish (19-1) with a team-leading three scores. Standout senior attackman Tyvan Schmidt was held to just one goal on the evening.

Behind a solid mixture of consistent scoring and a hard-nosed defense that proved to be disruptive from start to finish, the Falcons found their winning formula.

The contest was close early on as the Falcons claimed a 5-4 lead at halftime. However, Woodinville tallied five of the next seven goals after intermission to open up a 10-6 advantage early in the fourth before coasting to the victory.

To contact staff writer Adam Warner, send an e-mail to


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