By Drew Costley
George Mason High School’s girls varsity soccer team continued its streak of holding district opponents scoreless this week with a pair of 8-0 victories. The Mustangs routed Rappahannock County High School last Friday and Strasburg High School on Tuesday, and are still undefeated in the Bull Run District. Head Coach Jennifer Parsons said the Mustangs “dominated both games.”
The Mustangs scored their first goal in the first five minutes against Rappahannock County and were ahead 6-0 by halftime. Parsons said the Panthers had one very good defender who made it more challenging for the Mustang offense.
“We started off really hard and that’s something we’ve been trying to do is set the tone of the game from the very beginning and just take over the run of play of the game,” Parsons said. “And I think they’ve done that in our last few games.”
Senior defender Hailey Thomas scored two goals against the Panthers and has been a key player in the Mustangs’ effort to put more pressure on opponents in their defensive third of the field by bringing more players across midfield.
“She’s been doing a really good job of attacking when she can,” Parsons said. “She’s someone who I think has really stepped up this year. … She’s really been taking a part in play-making offensively, even though she’s primarily a defender.”
Against the Panthers, the Mustangs were working on combining passes on offense and continuing “to make good decisions” with the ball on defense and at midfield, according to Parsons. She said working on these aspects of their play, even against less competitive opponents, will prepare the Mustangs for tougher opponents later in the season.
Senior defender/midfielder Araba Ankuma scored two goals against Rappahannock County. Senior defender/midfielder Miska Chehata, junior midfielder/forward Claire Trevisan, sophomore forward Mary Keenan, and freshman midfielder/defender/goalkeeper Autumn Broxson each scored a goal. Trevisan and sophomore forward Ava Roth both assisted with two goals. Keenan, freshman defender/midfielder Clara Frost, and freshman defender Annie Washa each had an assist in the match.
The Mustangs sprinted out of the gate against Strasburg as well, scoring two goals within the first five minutes of the match. Parsons said she thinks the Mustangs “played smarter” against Strasburg than they have against prior opponents.
“We’re starting to see some creativity come out of some of our forwards and other attacking players,” Parsons said, “which is, I think, making it difficult for opponents.”
Roth had a hat trick and two assists against Strasburg. Trevisan and freshman forward Kate Mills scored two goals each and senior midfielder Maggie Mascarenhas scored one goal against the Rams. Trevisan and Thomas assisted with two goals. Freshmen midfielder/forwards Corinne Carson and Ella Howard each assisted with one goal in the match.
Parsons said Roth had found a way to attack more on Tuesday than she had in previous games.
“She made some really great runs through the defense and put herself in breakaway situations a couple times,” Parsons said. “She really provided a lot of energy to the team. Her speed of play was very fast and the other team just couldn’t keep up with her.”
The Mustangs host Clarke County High School, the only district opponent to beat George Mason last season, on Friday night. George Mason will play Central High School at home next Tuesday. Parsons said Clarke County is a “very difficult opponent” with a senior class of 15 who have never beaten the Mustangs in any of their match-ups when a championship was on the line. Parsons said that’s in the back of her players’ minds.
“They’ve historically always been our toughest opponent in the district,” Parsons said. “I think staying with the theme of starting out quickly and trying to capitalize on goal scoring opportunities early in the game is what we would like to do.”