By Drew Costley
George Mason High School’s girls varsity soccer team is “starting to peak” as the post-season begins, according to Head Coach Jennifer Parsons. The Mustangs beat Clarke County High School 3-0 in a tiebreaker game last Thursday to clinch first place in the Bull Run District. Then they beat Manassas Park High School 8-0 on Monday in the quarterfinal round of the district playoffs.
The Mustangs played the Clarke County Eagles, the second-place team in the district, twice last week. The first match was a regularly scheduled game last Tuesday the Mustangs won to tie the Eagles for first place in the district. As a result, the two rivals played a tiebreaker for first place in the district, the top seed, home field advantage in the district playoffs, and an automatic bid to the regional tournament.
“Thursday was a tough game. Having to play the same team for the second time in 48 hours was mentally tough,” Parsons said. “I think the girls went and played to win. They weren’t tentative. They just went after it and it really showed.”
Sophomore forward Ava Roth scored the Mustangs’ first goal against the Eagles off of an assist from junior midfielder Claire Trevisan towards the end of the first half.
“It was a great ball by Claire and I just turned and hit it in mid-air with the goalkeeper coming at me,” Roth said. “I felt really accomplished because after you get that first goal it settles everyone down.”
Trevisan, the Mustangs’ leading scorer, netted the other two goals against the Eagles in the second half. In the previous match against Clarke County, she scored a hat trick.
“Scoring was great and I guess I’m glad it was me, but really if it had been anyone else it would have been just as great,” Trevisan said. She also said that despite the high stakes of the tiebreaker, the game wasn’t as intense as the one played on Tuesday.
The Mustangs have outscored the Eagles 7-2 in the three matches they’ve played this season. Going into the quarterfinals against Manassas Park, the Mustangs had outscored the Cougars 20-0. Parsons said the Mustangs knew the match against the Cougars wasn’t going to be as competitive as their two previous matches.
“It was a very different type of game than what we had to deal with last week,” Parsons said. “So they adjusted well and finished their chances. I mean, we won, I’m happy.”
Roth scored the Mustangs’ first goal in the third minute. Freshman midfielder/forward Ella Howard scored another goal in the next minute. In the 15th minute, Roth dribbled through a few Cougar defenders then passed through to Trevisan, who scored the Mustangs’ third goal.
Trevisan’s only goal and freshman forward Kate Mills’ first goal of the game, scored in the 25th minute, were outliers.
“We had some rough patches because they were very concentrated on just kicking the ball away so it was kind of hard to keep connecting,” Trevisan said. “But I think we got into a rhythm and we put a lot of goals in the back of the net, which I think was good.”
The rest of the Mustangs’ scoring was clustered with four goals in four minutes. Sophomore Jessica Gemond scored the Mustangs’ fifth goal in the 36th minute. Then Mills scored back-to-back goals in the 37th and 38th minutes to put the Mustangs ahead 7-0. Gemond scored the eighth and final goal of the game in the 39th minute.
The Mustangs played Rappahannock County High School in one of the semifinal games of the district playoffs and hosted the other semifinal, a match-up between William Monroe High School and Clarke County High School, but results weren’t available at press time. The winners of the semifinal matches face each other tomorrow night in the Bull Run District championship.
Regardless of the outcome of the district tournament, the Mustangs play Wilson Memorial High School in the quarterfinal of the Northern Virginia Region B post-season tournament next Monday.