With the stands at Moore Cadillac Stadium filled to maximum capacity, the fans at George Mason High School waited all night hoping to see their girls soccer team triumph over defending state champion and Bull Run District rival Clarke County High School Friday night.
It would prove a sad day for Mason fans, however they were treated to one of the best games the Mustangs have played all season, in a hard-fought 1-0 match to the Eagles on senior night.
“I think the large school support helped us,” said Mason coach Jennifer Parsons. “I know the girls were flattered with the turnout for the game.”
Right from the start, it was evident the match between two of the top teams in the state would be a fight to the finish. Mustang freshman Karen Hamill was forced to leave early in the first half, bruised and bloody, due to being shoved into the goalpost by a Clarke defender. Eventually returning, Hamill catalyzed the Mason offense with a number of scoring chances.
“On another night we may have converted several of those chances,” mentioned Parsons following the game.
The Mason defense came out determined to avenge their previous 3-1 loss to the Eagles, and for a while kept the Single A powerhouse in check. Coach Parsons raved about the efforts of sophomore sweeper Abby Stroup as well as junior Rebecca Jackson’s strong game in goal.
However, the defense was unable to stop Clarke forward Danielle Moyer, who scored all three goals against them in their last meeting, and scored the lone goal on Friday, tapping in a late second-half breakaway shot past the outstretched arms of Jackson.
Potentially, the two teams could face off three more times, with the first opportunity coming next Thursday in the Bull Run District final. However, Parsons is making sure her squad will not look past first round opponent Madison County High School, whom they will battle next Tuesday at home.
In the regular season finale, the Mustangs quickly dispatched of Manassas Park High 9-1 on Tuesday night.
Junior Olivia Scott continued her outstanding offensive season, booting three goals past the Mountaineer keeper, while Hamill and sophomore Mayssa Chehata each scored twice. Sophomores Haley Turner and Virginia Fresne rounded out the scoring for Mason.
With a win in the upcoming district tournament, the Mustangs will earn a first round home regional match, which Parsons said is their current goal.
Although their match against Clarke was officially Senior Night, graduating players Roxanne Sweeny and Katie Turner will play in front of their hometown fans at least one more time, next Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Madison County in the opening round of the Bull Run District tournament.