For the second consecutive season the Bellevue Wolverines boys lacrosse team reached the mountaintop.
The Wolverines defeated the Mercer Island Islanders 12-4 in the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse 3A state championship game on May 27 at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. The Wolverines got off to a sluggish start against the Islanders. Mercer Island sophomore Donnie Howard scored a goal in the first quarter and Stew Vassau recorded a goal with 11:02 left in the second period, extending Mercer Island’s lead to 2-0.
The lead didn’t last long.
Bellevue scored six unanswered goals in the final 8:51 of the second quarter, taking a commanding 6-2 lead at halftime. Bellevue’s stingy defense didn’t allow Mercer Island to score a goal for the final 11 minutes of the second quarter. Mercer Island didn’t score its third goal until Glen Mahoney found the back of the net with 7:22 left in the third period. Bellevue senior Cameron McMahon, who scored a game-high six goals in the final contest of his high school career, wasn’t worried despite his team trailing by two goals early in the second quarter.
“We hit adversity and we just bounce back. That has been our mentality throughout the whole year. Losing to them on senior night [6-4 loss on April 26] and then coming back and taking this win means the world to everyone on this team,” McMahon said.
Bellevue players Paul Johnson, Justin Angelel, Quinn Sullivan, Steve Mylroie, Joseph Albrecht and Thomas Heed each scored a goal apiece in the championship game. Angelel, who missed the 2016 season due to a torn ACL, said he knew Mercer Island would be a formidable opponent.
“Mercer Island is really well coached and have some great players. We have been through a lot of adversity all season and we knew we were going to have some in this game,” Angelel said. “It was just another day in the office. We knew we had to work our butts off all game and just keep the pedal to the metal and make sure we got the job done for four quarters.”
Bellevue head coach Nick Welton said his team took the same exact approach to the title game as it had in all of its previous contests during the 2017 season.
“We play one possession at a time, one instance at a time. That is all we do. That is where our focus was,” Welton said. “You can’t worry about the outcome. You have to worry about preparing and doing all the things that it takes to get there.”
Angelel was glad to be part of the championship celebration after missing out on competing in last year’s title game.
“It is an amazing feeling. To get back on the field and play with my boys again is what its all about,” Angelel said. “Those guys mean the world to me. I wouldn’t trade anybody for them. I don’t know what I’d do without them.”