The George Mason High School varsity field hockey team traveled to Williamsburg on Tuesday night for the semifinals in the 2013 Conference 24 VHSL field hockey tournament.
The Mustangs faced the number-one seed, the Bruton High School Panthers, who entered the tournament with a 15-1 record that included several wins by double-digit margins.
The Mustangs put up a fierce fight against Bruton, a team which has long been a powerhouse in the Williamsburg area, but trailed 3-1 at the half. The Mustangs’ goal was scored by Sarah Lubnow, who beat the Panther goalie after taking a long pass from Caroline Stricker. The Mustangs battled on in the second half, but eventually fell to Bruton 6-1. Caroline Duffett played a great game in the goal, making several excellent saves.
The Mustangs advanced to the game against Bruton after winning on Monday night in the first round of the Conference 24 tournament. Playing before an often boisterous crowd at home, the Mustangs dominated the Red Devils of Lancaster High School on the way to a 3-0 victory. Two first-half goals were scored by Eleanor Langford. Sabine Wills added a third goal, also in the first half. Stricker, Callie Gaskins, Julianne Kelly, Autumn Broxson, and Sarah Macris were also key parts of a Mustang offense that kept the ball in the Red Devils’ end for most of the game. The Mustangs kept relentless pressure on the Red Devils, whose goalkeeper kept the score close with several excellent saves. Mustang goalkeepers Rachel Skomra and Duffett combined for the shutout.
The loss to Bruton brings the Mustangs’ inaugural field hockey season to a close. Though disappointed in their overall record, the Mustangs improved markedly throughout a year in which they were generally playing larger schools with more established field hockey programs. By the second half of the year, the Mustangs were challenging those schools, at times pushing games into overtimes or shootouts. With only senior co-captain Macris graduating, the future looks bright for the new Mustang field hockey program.