Sports

Mustang Girls Handle Eagles & Wildcats Remain Atop Bull Run

Another week passes and George Mason High School’s varsity girls soccer team adds two more wins to their record after downing Warren County High School, 8-0, on Tuesday and handing Clarke County High School a 6-1 loss on Apr. 21.

Tuesday’s match with Warren County was a preview of what is to become of Mason (8-1) in future seasons. Seniors like offensive machine Rebecca Crouch and heady defender Megan Butler will depart from the program to go seek out bigger and better things, ideally after bringing a 10th consecutive 2A state championship to Falls Church. That will leave the Mustangs’ current underclassmen in charge of carrying on the winning tradition established a decade ago.

“Being more confident has really helped me this year, along with advice from the upperclassmen,” sophomore midfielder Maura Mann said. “Being given the opportunity to play in the midfield, just me and Maddie [LaCroix] since we’re both sophomores, and to have that bond while getting support from the upperclassmen is definitely important.”

Eight minutes into the game a through ball from Crouch sent Mann barreling toward Warren County’s goalkeeper in a one-on-one situation. Mann baited the Wildcat keeper to leave her line in an attempt to play the ball, allowing her to coolly veer right and chip in a open-goal shot. Junior forward Izzy Armstrong mimicked Mann’s move seven minutes later when another one-on-one situation forced Warren County’s goalie to cheat and allowed Armstrong to juke right to put Mason up 2-0.

Mann finished off the first half with two more goals, the first coming off an assist from junior midfielder Victoria Rund and the second from fellow sophomore LaCroix, to complete her hat trick. Up 4-0 at the half, the Mustangs continued their scoring pace once the game continued. Armstrong fed Rund for goal number five, while Crouch assisted freshman forward Emma Rollins for number six. Armstrong launched a free kick at Warren County’s keeper, which was batted up over her head, but not over the crossbar, as the ball fell just behind the Wildcat keeper and slowly rolled past the goal line to put the Mustangs ahead 7-0. The clinching goal was tacked on a minute later, with a majority of the scoring coming off the legs of the younger Mustangs.

“We have quite a few younger players who’re stepping up and making a presence on the field,” head coach Allison Klink said. “As the season goes on they’re more comfortable, too, and it’s really great to see that.”

Against Clarke County, Mason avenged the ghosts of its 4-3 loss to the Eagles in Berryville at the end of the 2016 season. Clarke County slipped one goal past the Mustangs, but overall Mason controlled the ball and were the aggressors en route to a 6-1 win.

Mason hosts Strasburg High School on Friday before heading to Madison County High School on May 2.