By Drew Costley
George Mason High School’s girls varsity soccer team beat Clarke County High School 5-0 last Thursday to win the Conference 35 championship. The George Mason Mustangs swept the Clarke County Eagles this regular season, but lost to the Eagles in the 2013 Bull Run District championship at home last season. Mason Head Coach Jennifer Parsons said the memory of that loss gave the Mustangs added motivation going into the conference championship game.
Senior forward Claire Trevisan scored the Mustangs’ first goal in the sixth minute of the game after senior midfielder/forward Camille Rice crossed a corner kick into Trevisan. Trevisan attempted to head the ball into the net, but Clarke County junior goalkeeper Jessie Ambrosio saved the ball and then fumbled back onto the pitch. Trevisan knocked in the rebound from about a yard away from the goal line.
Trevisan and sophomore midfielder/defender Corinne Carson led the Mustangs in scoring against the Eagles with two goals each. Junior midfielder/forward Ava Roth added a goal to the Mustangs’ tally. Roth and freshman forward Rebecca Crouch each had an assist in the match.
“Tonight I thought our first half was great and we came out really hard because we’ve had a long-standing tension and rivalry with Clarke. We just wanted this one, and it was our first chance to get a trophy since districts got cancelled,” Trevisan said. The district tournament was cancelled to allow teams to play out their full regular-season schedule after a snowy and rainy spring sports season resulted in several postponed games.
The Mustangs scored four of their five goals in the first half, but didn’t score their fifth goal until there was a little less than seven minutes left in the match.
“We came in with a plan – basically just delaying them, keeping them in front of us, stop trying to gamble – and I thought [in] the second half we did a better job of it,” said Clarke County Head Coach Larry Hart.
The Mustangs defeated Rappahannock County High School 8-0 last Wednesday in the conference semifinals.
“We were a little lethargic, and slow to get started,” Parsons said. “We didn’t have anyone step up to be a dangerous player at the start of the game, so we were really lacking in developing our offense.”
Trevisan scored two unassisted goals in the first half to put the Mustangs up 2-0. Parsons said the team members talked at halftime about “earning a win that met [our] own standard of play and hard work” regardless of how many times they’ve beaten a team in the past. “I think they really internalized that, because the second half was the opposite of the first,” Parsons said.
The Mustangs scored six goals in the first 25 minutes of the second half, which resulted in an early end to the game due to the Virginia High School League’s mercy rule. Trevisan scored one more goal, assisted by Roth, to start the second-half scoring frenzy. Sophomore midfielder Kate Mills scored two goals in the match, while Roth, Carson, and Crouch each added a goal to the Mustangs’ tally. Rice had two assists, and Trevisan and Crouch each had an assist in the match.
Because of their win over the Rappahannock County Panthers, the Mustangs advanced to the Region 2A East playoffs, where they defeated Buffalo Gap High School 11-0 in the quarterfinal round. Parsons said a fast-paced attack and urgency in converting early scoring opportunities were keys to the victory.
Roth led the Mustangs in scoring with three goals against the Buffalo Gap Bison. Trevisan, Crouch, and sophomore midfielder Ella Howard each added two goals against the Bison. Carson and sophomore defender Jackie Baartz each added a goal the Mustangs’ tally. Trevisan and Carson assisted with three goals each against the Bison. Roth, Rice, and senior defender Erica Schneider each had an assist in the match.
The Mustangs advanced to the Region 2A East semifinals, where they played Goochland High School on Wednesday, but results were not available at press time. The winner of that game plays in the Region 2A East championship on Friday.