By Drew Costley
George Mason High School’s girls varsity soccer team lost 2-0 to Dominion High School in their home and season opener on Monday. The loss comes after the Mustangs lost 2-0 to Marshall High School in a home scrimmage last Friday.
“It was a good learning experience,” Head Coach Jennifer Parsons said of the Marshall game. “I definitely think we should have tied them at least.”
Parsons said the Mustangs had “five or six good goal-scoring opportunities at the beginning of [the] game” against the Statesmen. “I really thought we outplayed them in scrimmage,” Parsons said. She said the experience was beneficial, and she saw the players had adjusted to what they learned in that scrimmage when they played Dominion on Monday.
Dominion plays in the double-A division, which is a more competitive division than the single-A division that George Mason plays in.
“We set up the game against them because we knew they were going to be pretty tough competition,” Parsons said. “And we wanted that at the beginning of the season.”
She said it was a “pretty even game” although the Titans “outplayed [the Mustangs] at times.” Parsons said the players were disappointed that they didn’t score.
“Their defense was very solid,” Parsons said. “They limited us to only one or two opportunities to score in the entire game.”
The Titans were able to take advantage of two turnovers the Mustangs made on the defensive end at the beginning of the second half to score their goals. They scored the first goal around the 50-minute mark of the game and the second about five minutes later. Freshman striker Breanna Mitchell and junior defender Taylor Newman scored the goal and freshman midfielder and striker Kayla Abel and freshman defender Jess Wimberly assisted.
Parsons said the Mustangs’ “discomfort” with each other on the field “might have to do with the two turnovers we caused that resulted in those goals.” Despite giving up two goals back-to-back, the Mustangs “definitely fought back,” according to Parsons. Sophomore goaltender Katie Cheney had 10 saves against the Titans.
Parsons said some of their best opportunities to score came in the last 10 minutes of the game, which shows the Mustangs didn’t give up after Dominion scored.
According to Parsons, the match against Dominion was a good primer for the Mustangs as they enter Bull Run District play with their match against Central High School tomorrow night. She said the team has to work on improving offensive output and, because it is a young team, the players are still “working the nerves out” of their on-field play.
“We’re definitely working on some urgency in front of the goal and capitalizing on any opportunity we have to score,” Parsons said. “I think we learned that against Dominion.”
After Central, the Mustangs play Tuscarora High School next Tuesday in their last regular season home game before the school goes on spring break.