Arts & Entertainment

Pitch Perfect: Mason Boys Rout Rival, Lead District

A 5-1 rout of rival Clarke County High School highlighted another undefeated week for the George Mason High School boys varsity soccer team. After downing the Eagles on Friday, the Mustangs carried off their sixth-straight district win with a 3-0 victory over Manassas Park on Tuesday.

Senior Tim Brooks scored his first goal of the season in the third minute of the match against Clarke last Friday and sophomore Andrew Arias scored the eventual match-winner 24 minutes later, as the Mustangs jumped on the Eagles from the outset. Sophomore Nick Smirniotopoulos struck again for Mason just prior to halftime and the Mustangs never looked back from there.

Junior Anthony Andrianarison and senior Matt Gresko each beat the Clarke keeper in the second half to comfortably coast to the win.

Senior Antonio Randrianasolo notched a pair of assists.

On Tuesday night, Mason dominated possession against Manassas Park, controlling the midfield. The upper hand led to a number of crossing attempts from the Mustangs that repeatedly seemed to just miss their intended targets. Several that did, were turned aside by the Manassas Park goaltender, who turned in a solid performance in the loss.

Sophomore Alex Casteuble put the Mustangs on the board around the 13-minute mark. It seemed the floodgates were destined to open shortly thereafter, but a volley by sophomore Teddy Rueckert couldn't quite sneak under the crossbar, ricocheting tantalizingly into the air until it was finally controlled by the Cougar keeper.

The Cougars buckled down after that, deflecting Mason's attacks to the corners and reducing the quality of their offensive chances.

The affair was markedly different from some of the past matchups between the two teams, usually lopsided affairs in Mason's favor. This time, Manassas refused to roll over and challenged the Mustangs ever step of the way.

“Their coaching is stable now and they've done a great job with their kids,” Mason Head Coach Art Iwanicki said. “They're pretty organized [with their play] and they've put together a nice team.”

Manassas kept Mason to a lone goal for 20 minutes, but couldn't consistently possess the ball. The Mustangs continued to administer pressure and finally the Cougar back line cracked, yielding a second goal with 7:36 remaining in the half. After winning the race to a lead pass in the left side of the goal box, Smirniotopoulos snuck it under the charging goalie to provide his team with a two-goal cushion.

A flourish by the Cougars in Mason's side of the field nearly put the score at 2-1 with two minutes remaining before halftime, however the Mustangs' senior Tim Brooks turned aside a ball that seemed bound for the back of the net, steering it aside until freshman keeper Tyler Back and the rest of the Mason defense could recover.

Senior Andres Ramos accounted for the match's final goal midway through a second half in which the Mustangs were similarly dominant.

Mason was without the services of senior Antonio Randrianasolo, who missed school on Tuesday. Iwanicki believed he would be back for Wednesday night's game against Robinson High School. Results of that match were not available at press time.

Heading into the game against the highly-regarded Robinson program, Mason's record stood at 7-2 overall, and 6-0 in the Bull Run District. Mason remains the only unbeaten team in the district, with every other team owning at least two losses thus far.

The Mustangs have not lost a game since dropping an 0-2 decision to AA powerhouse Potomac Falls on April 7.

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