By Drew Costley
George Mason High School’s boys varsity soccer team is scoring twice as many goals against opponents as they were at this point last season. The Mustangs, who defeated Rappahannock County High School 5-0 last Friday and trampled Strasburg High School 10-2 on Tuesday, have scored 40 goals this season while holding opponents to 10 goals. They are 6-2 overall and still have an undefeated district record. Eight games into last season, the Mustangs had only scored 20 goals, held opponents to 10 goals, and had an overtime loss to district opponent Manassas Park High School.
Head coach Frank Spinello said he was aware that the Mustangs were scoring more than last season, but didn’t know it was such a big difference. “We just have players that are seeing the field real well and making dangerous passes,” he said. “And we’re creating a lot more easier chances than we did last year.”
Spinello said sophomore midfielder Kavon Nowroozi and junior midfielder Paul Darmstadter are creating more opportunities for the Mustangs, and junior striker Cole Hinson and freshman striker Raheem Lawal are finishing opportunities “at a pretty alarming rate.”
Nowroozi had assists on the first two goals of the game against Rappahannock County.
“He is seeing the field and reading the game very well,” Spinello said. Senior midfielder Henry Darmstadter, Hinson, and Lawal each assisted on goals against the Panthers.
Paul Darmstadter scored two goals against the Panthers. Lawal, Hinson, and Nowroozi each scored a goal. Senior goalkeeper Sebastian Umerez had four saves against Rappahannock County. Spinello said sophomore defender/midfielder Ned Quill helped maintain possession and composure through the game.
“I thought the entire team played a great match, with no drop off between first- and second-team players,” Spinello said. “Right now all of our players are competing as if they are starters.”
Lawal, who became the Mustangs’ leading scorer against Strasburg, scored a hat trick within the first 18 minutes of the game against the Rams and put the game out of reach. By the end of the half the Mustangs were up 8-0. Spinello said he thinks this led to a “mental breakdown” in the second half, allowing the Rams to score two goals.
“Our lack of commitment to defend and communicate properly in the defensive third of the field allowed them to get those chances at goal, which I was not happy with at all,” Spinello said.
Lawal scored five goals in approximately 30 minutes against the Rams. Darmstadter, who has scored in four of the last five games for the Mustangs, scored two goals. Quill, junior midfielder/striker Sinan Kokuuslu, and sophomore midfielder Matteo D’Agostino each scored a goal.
Hinson assisted with five goals, Kokuuslu assisted with three goals, and Darmstadter and Nowroozi each assisted with one goal against the Rams. Umerez had zero saves in the match and sophomore goalkeeper Daniel Donovan had one.
“We are pleased with where we are at this point of the season but we still have one very tough opponent to play,” Spinello said.
That opponent is Clarke County High School. The Mustangs travel to Clarke County to play on Friday and travel to Central High School next Tuesday. George Mason lost two of three matches played against the Clarke County Eagles last season, including a loss in the district semifinal. Spinello said the Mustangs “expect a battle” against the Eagles.