BELLEVUE — A night of frustration was lifted for the Bellevue High School girls soccer team in the 70th minute.
The sting of two penalty kicks being turned away earlier was abated with one beautiful strike of the foot.
Sophomore forward Kiley Suter tallied a goal in the 70th minute as Bellevue turned back Mercer Island 1-0 to claim its third consecutive KingCo 3A championship Monday night at Bellevue High.
Suter, who was denied on a penalty kick earlier in the match, hit a side-winding 13-yard strike into the far left corner of the net in the 70th minute for the Wolverines.
“Basically, we just needed a goal and we just worked together as a team and we just finished our chance right there,” said Suter. “She’s (the MI goalkeeper) not the tallest, so I tried going for the top (of the goal) and I just ripped it as hard as I could.”
The goal was Suter’s ninth of the season and the Wolverines dug in defensively after that for the final 10 minutes.
The night could’ve ended on a sad note for Bellevue with the two PK misses.
“It was a little bit of a surprise (to miss two PKs), but we just came back strong after that,” Suter said. “The ref explained that it was her mistake on my rebound on the first PK, but I just let it go.”
Bellevue (12-4-0) qualifies for the Class 3A state tournament as the Sea-King District No. 2 seed and meets the No. 2 seed from the Northwest District (WesCo 3A).
Bellevue earned a penalty kick in the 32nd minute when Suter was fouled in the penalty area by Mercer Island’s Piper Casey. In the 33rd minute, Suter’s PK was blocked by the Islanders’ Bella Johnson and then she buried the rebound, but it was waved off by the head referee.
The referee told the Bellevue side the goal was wiped out because Suter, the kicker, was the first player to touch the ball. The rules state that once another player — from either team — touches the ball, then the kicker can contact the ball legally.
“They said if it’s a deflection off the keeper that the forward can’t be the next person to touch the ball,” said Bellevue coach Matthew Dorman. “And, I said, ‘No.’ If it hits an upright, the forward can’t touch the ball, but if the keeper saves it then the forward can touch it.
“At the end of the day, it was 1-0.”
Mercer Island fell to 13-4-0.