The George Mason High School boys soccer team faced William Monroe and Rappahannock County high schools last week. They slipped by William Monroe last Friday with a 1-0 victory and beat Rappahannock County 3-1 Tuesday in overtime.
After a long road trip down to William Monroe, uncertain if the game would take place because of the rain, the boys started the game a little slow. Within the first 10 minutes of the game, junior Adam Witzel was brought down, but the penalty kick was not executed into a goal.
Minutes after, the boys turned on their fire, searching for another golden opportunity. Mason proceeded to dominate the game and apply a lot of pressure on William Monroe. Many chances on goal were obtained but could not be converted. The half ended with a 0-0 tie.
In the second half, the boys continued to pressure William Monroe and maintain possession. Mason relied on superior speed to receive through balls as their advantage, while William Monroe used their size to be dangerous in the air especially when receiving the set pieces, like free kicks.
Mason couldn’t put the ball in the net until sophomore Sinan Kokuuslu played a long through ball that put senior captain Eion Oosterbaan on a breakaway, which he finished in the back of the net. Mason’s defense held off William Monroe for the remainder of the game, and goalie Sebastian Umerez made heroic saves to secure the shutout and the 1-0 victory.
“We definitely deserved to win that game, we just have to put away our chances when we get them,” Oosterbaan said.
Mason faced Rappahannock County in an exciting battle that ended with Mason’s victory in overtime. The Mason boys started off playing down to their competition and did not play to their full potential the whole game.
However, they did manage to pick up the tempo a little bit with some key scoring opportunities and the numerous corner kicks they took. Rappahannock County, though, made converting Mason’s corner kicks into goals difficult because they packed every player into the box, leaving hardly any room for a shot to be taken. At halftime, the game was scoreless.
Midway through the second half, junior Henry Darmstadter blazed a shot off of a long free kick into the lower left corner. Fans leaped with joy after the long battle to put the ball in the net. With only one minute remaining in the half, Rappahannock County’s star forward curved an amazing shot into the net to tie the game 1-1 and bring it to overtime.
Within the first two minutes of overtime, sophomore Truman Custer received a through ball from Oosterbaan, which he pierced into the far right corner of the net under a diving goalie. With one minute left of the halftime of overtime, Kokuuslu got a breakaway and beat the goalkeeper to pass the ball into an open net.
“The younger kids on the team have really stepped up as the season has progressed,” said senior captain and star defender Ze’ev Lailari. “We had a lot of freshman and sophomore players starting and getting a lot of minutes early on. Those members of the team are now executing like juniors and seniors, and it shows when we’re on the field.”
Rappahannock County was crushed after these two goals and Mason handily won in overtime 3-1.
The boys will try to wrap up the next few games of their season by capitalizing on the strengths they have built.
“Over the course of the season, we have really come together as a team and started to play like a team,” said freshman Ned Quill. “We started to possess the ball much better, which has led us to many scoring opportunities.”
The boys look to use their possession and quality scoring opportunities to help carry them throughout the remainder of the season. They will host Strasburg High School Friday for their Senior Night game and travel to play Clarke County High School next Tuesday.