A three-goal loss on the scoreboard didn’t dampen the spirits of Sammamish Totems girls soccer head coach Darryl Gonyea.
Mercer Island registered a 3-0 victory against the Sammamish Totems on Sept. 14 at Sammamish High School in Bellevue. Kendall Riley, Jackie Gilroy and Emily Yang each recorded a goal apiece in the convincing victory. Mercer Island (3-0 overall) has scored eight goals and hasn’t surrendered a goal thus far during the 2017 season. The Totems dropped to 1-1-2 with the loss. Sammamish had several solid opportunities to score goals against the Islanders. Two of the Totems’ shots on goal caromed off the crossbar.
“We had a really good practice yesterday (Sept. 13). They had a lot of questions on defensive positioning. I was really proud of the way they absorbed the information. We did a really good job of marking (covering players) which led to us building some confidence, especially in the first half,” Gonyea said. “We’re turning a corner. Most of these girls have been with the team for a while now. I told them to forget the scoreboard because I thought it was a positive step in the right direction tonight. We’ll get those bounces to go our way if we keep playing the way we are playing.”
Islanders’ head coach James Valles, who is in his first season as the leader of the Islanders program, was thrilled to see his team’s ability to share the ball on display.
“I’m happy with the balanced scoring. We are an attacking them and we try to move the ball around. We could had played better but we’re pretty happy with the result,” Valles said.
Gonyea praised players Andrea Jimenez-Gonzalez, Colette Liston and Lilya Garzon-Boyd for being the cornerstones of the Totems soccer team.
“Andrea is the backbone. She is dynamic everywhere on the field she goes. Colette is doing a fantastic job and Lilya is playing in the back (defender) for us. The spine (players who play in the middle of the field) is really, really solid. Those players set the tone,” Gonyea said of Jimenez-Gonzalez, Liston and Garzon-Boyd.
The vocal leader of the Totems is team captain Josie Hunt.
“She is the one you hear on the field,” Gonyea said with a smile. “She is always getting everybody going. Everybody on this team is doing their part and pulling their weight.”