The George Mason High School girls soccer team won the state championship at Radford University Saturday, breaking a state record by winning its fifth consecutive VHSL state title.
To advance to the championship game, Mason beat James River High School last Friday, 2-0. Mason’s defense and freshman goalie Katie Cheney kept the team in the game through a slow start in the first half. The halftime score of 0-0 fueled the team’s energy to get a goal in quickly, which senior captain Leah Roth executed after 10 minutes. Junior Maggie Mascarenhas battled through defenders to receive and score off of a cross, giving Mason its second goal in the 2-0 semifinals victory.
Mason began the state championship game against Graham High School with intensity and desire made clear by efforts on the field. Leah Roth struck first with a shot to the far left corner that whizzed by Graham’s goalkeeper. With a halftime lead of 1-0, sophomore Camille Rice gathered a rebound shot and tapped it into the goal. Junior Araba Ankuma gained her own goal, which caused roaring applause from the bench and the fans. To score Mason’s final goal and top off her senior year, Leah Roth shot the ball to the far left corner, which flew to the side netting of the goal. With Graham scrambling for every shot they could take, Cheney remained composed and secured the shutout.
With a final score of 4-0, Mason secured its fifth consecutive state championship.
“It was a great way to end my senior year and I had a great time getting to know all the underclassmen and I know they will do well in the coming years,” said Leah Roth, who has won four of those state championships with the team.
It was the first state championship win for her sister, freshman Ava Roth, who said “It was exciting winning states as a freshman, especially experiencing it with all my friends and my sister. I look forward to the success of our future teams.”
Both Leah and Ava received All-State honors, as did freshman Mary Keenan and sophomore Claire Trevisan. Keenan received All-State honorable mention, Ava Roth and Trevisan received first team All-State, and Leah Roth received first team All-State and runner-up for Player of the Year.
“Our seniors place a standard that our underclassmen learn to follow, which helps us become successful,” said Head Coach Jennifer Parsons. “I’m very proud of our girls. They have worked very hard to get to this point, and they really deserve it.”
The state championship, secured by a young team, brings the season to a close, but has Mason looking ahead to what the team and promising rising freshman can accomplish next year.