The wins continue to roll in for George Mason High School’s varsity boys soccer team as they handled business against Rappahannock County High School, 8-0, and Central High School, 1-0, to clinch the top-seed in Conference 35 and hold home field throughout postseason.
On the field Mason (9-2-1) may have been on five-game win streak since their 0-0 tie with William Monroe High School last month, however, a technicality off the field ended up costing the Mustangs their 7-1 victory over Madison County last week. One player didn’t turn in his medical paperwork prior to entering the game last Tuesday and, by doing so, violated one of VHSL’s rules. As a result, the Mountaineers lone goal in the second half decided the game due to a mandatory forfeit by Mason, leaving the team with an extra loss on its record and a renewed focus with the postseason looming.
“We talked as a team and we decided we weren’t going to let that affect us,” Mason senior defender and co-captain Nico Ferrara said. “Now it’s an ‘us against them’ mentality. Just going forward we have to win everything, so it’s good motivation.”
The Mustangs played like there was no room for error in their two games this past week. Against Rappahannock County on Tuesday, Mason shot out of the gates and showcased why they’re the undisputed top seed in Conference 35.
In the 10th minute, a cross from sophomore midfielder Nicholas Wells set up Mason’s first goal when it found the foot of junior forward Peter Scardino who booted it in. Seven minutes later Ferrara’s through ball connected with senior forward Connor Anderson, allowing him to rocket the ball past Rappahannock County’s goalkeeper. By the 20th minute Mason would add their third goal when Anderson shared the wealth with senior midfielder Olo Sembera Baracco for his first tally of the game.
The scoring continued when Wells tacked on the Mustangs’ fourth after recovering a loose ball and working his way through the Panther’s defense into a clearing for his goal in the 27th minute. Freshman midfielder Cole Hellert put some flair in his only goal during the 34th minute when he spun away from a defender and launched the ball to the lower left post with his left foot. Right before halftime, Hellert sent a precision pass right to a streaking senior forward Riley Marcus for his first goal all season after returning from injury just the other week. After a lengthy scoring drought to start the second half, junior forward Haeju Jeong assisted Wells for his second of the game and a 7-0 lead for Mason. Marcus made sure the match ended early when he scored the Mustangs final goal in the 74th minute.
“We’re just trying to not leave as many goals on the board in each game,” Mustang head coach Frank Spinello said. “Trying different combinations up top, seeing what’s going to work. Trying different paces, sticking with guys that play one way and bringing in guys that will offer up a completely different look, so hopefully that will pay some dividends down the stretch.”
Mason has a tough stretch to end the regular season. Tomorrow at 7 p.m. they host regional contender Maggie Walker Governor’s School before hitting the road to face Bull Run rival Clarke County on Friday. The team will hold its final regular season game and its senior night next Tuesday, May 16, against William Monroe as the rematch of April’s unwelcome tie.