By Drew Costley
George Mason High School’s boys varsity soccer team scored four goals in each half of its 8-0 victory over William Monroe High School last Friday. George Mason Head Coach Frank Spinello said the team is coming together early in the season even though they need to work on some things defensively.
“I think we need to improve on defensive shape a little bit,” Spinello said. “I think we have the tendency to chase balls. We’re a little too eager to win balls further up the field than we need to, but overall I think our play was pretty stellar tonight.”
The George Mason Mustangs (3-0, 3-0) started out slow, by their own admission. But they were still able to finish the William Monroe Dragons (2-1-1, 2-1-1) off early according to Virginia High School League rules stating that teams ahead by eight or more goals after 60 minutes have been played automatically win the game.
Junior midfielder Kavon Nowroozi scored the Mustangs’ first goal in the 11th minute of the game with a bending ball he kicked on a corner kick. He said the goal was “kind of an accident.”
“We were working on corners in the last week and tried to do more driven balls in for our strikers because it was an easier opportunity to score,” Nowroozi said. “I just saw the keeper not step off his line and just played a driven ball in and it went in.”
But the Mustangs didn’t score another goal until the 30th minute, when sophomore striker Raheem Lawal scored after receiving a ball from senior midfielder Paul Darmstadter.
The Mustangs scored two more goals in the final 10 minutes of the first half. Sophomore striker Elliot Mercado scored off of a pass from Lawal in the 36th minute and sophomore midfielder Grant Goodwin scored off of a pass from junior defender Joshua Gross.
“We started off a little slow, but we got a lot of momentum towards the end of the first half and then the goals kept coming, so it was good,” Lawal said.
Darmstadter scored the Mustangs’ first goal of the second half in the 47th minute by knocking in a ball that was deflected by the Dragons’ goalkeeper. Senior striker/midfielder Sinan Kokuuslu scored his first goal of the season and made the match 5-0 in the 58th minute.
Lawal scored his second goal of the game a minute later after cramping up on the run down field.
“Well, I got a good ball played through and then I saw the keeper was coming so I passed it by him and then my calves tightened up, but I’m OK,” Lawal said.
Mercado scored the final goal of the game in the 69th minute after rebounding a deflection by the Dragons’ goalkeeper.
William Monroe Head Coach Jeff Shifflett said the Mustangs have a “really good team.”
“They played really well tonight,” Shifflett said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t play our best game and hopefully the next time we face them it’ll be a different story.”
The Mustangs play Central High School at Central on Friday and then they have games Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. They play Rappahannock County High School at home on Monday, Manassas Park High School at Manassas Park on Tuesday, and Clarke County High School at home on Wednesday.