The George Mason High School varsity field hockey team played the final games of its inaugural season last week.
The big crowd that turned out for last Wednesday for Mason’s final home game was treated to a tense and exciting contest as the Mustangs gave it their all in a hard-fought battle against the Knights of Bishop O’Connell High School.
The Mustangs dominated the early part of the first half with a number of offensive drives, but were unable to put the ball in the goal.
Sarah Macris, who was honored before the game as the team’s sole senior – in contrast the Knights’ eight seniors on the roster – put her speed to use and pushed the ball up the field several times, but she and her teammates were unable to convert.
Strong defensive play by the Mustangs’ Emma Graig and Caroline Jarrard kept the Knights from scoring as well, and the score was 0-0 at the end of the first half.
The Mustangs continued to play hard in the second half, with the offensive lineup of Callie Gaskins, Darcy Jones, Julianne Kelly, and Caroline Stricker joining Macris in challenging the Knights, but failed to put the ball in the net. Goalkeeper Rachel Skomra kept cool under pressure and stopped a number of scoring chances to keep the score even at 0-0 at the end of regulation play.
The teams continued their evenly matched contest throughout the 15-minute, 7-on-7 sudden-victory overtime, but neither team was able to score and the overtime ended 0-0. This led to the first shoot-out in Mustang field hockey history. The teams alternated players taking shots on goal. At the end of two rounds of the shoot-out the score the score was 1-1 after Annie Mothershead’s shot beat the Knight’s goalie. But the Knights ultimately prevailed 2-1 after five rounds of the shoot-out, bringing a long and intense contest to a close.
Though the team was unable to secure a victory, as evidence of how far the young Mustangs have come, they lost 6-1 to the Knights in the season opener last month.
The Mustangs brought their regular season to a close last Friday when they faced off against the Wolves of Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School. The contest found the Mustangs working hard to defend their goal against the strong offense of the Wolves. Caroline Duffitt made saves against numerous shots and let in only one goal halfway through the first half.
A late second half offensive rally by the Mustangs with less than a minute left on the clock looked promising, but the Mustangs were unable to convert on a centering pass from Julianne Kelly and the game ended with a 1-0 win for the Wolves.
The Mustangs faced this team early on in the season and lost 6-1, another sign of how the team has improved throughout the season.
The Mustangs will play post-season conference games at the end of the month.