10 Straight State Championships Puts Mason Soccer in a League of its Own

June 14, 2017 8:13 PM0 comments

FLEXING WITH THEIR X’S are seniors Megan Butler (left) and Rebecca Crouch, who marked the Roman numeral X on teammates’ wrists pregame to remind them that the 10th straight state championship was in sight. (Photo: Allison Klink)

With a 10th consecutive state title in hand, George Mason High School’s girls soccer team proves to be a one of Virginia’s most storied athletic programs of all-time after it thwarted Graham High School, 6-0, in the semifinal before topping Stuarts Draft High School, 1-0, in the state finals.

The season had been gradually building to this point ever since Mason’s (23-1) lone loss to local 5A team J.E.B. Stuart High School back in late March. From there the team rallied and put together 21 wins in a row and took Conference 35, 2A East region and 2A states by storm. Now, resting firmly atop the competition, all the Mustangs can do is soak up the moment.

Against Graham last Friday, Mason was able to dictate the flow of the game at will. In the first half, the Mustangs were patient and methodical with their approach, carefully dialing up pressure and picking their spots like the experienced veterans of the state tournament they are. Mason did break through eventually on a goal by junior forward Izzy Armstrong, and then again a few minutes later when sophomore midfielder Maura Mann evaded Graham’s back line and sank her shot to give the Mustangs a 2-0 lead at halftime.

Once the action resumed, Mason kicked their offensive advances into high gear. Armstrong got things going when she connected on her second goal of the game and was followed close behind by senior midfielder Rebecca Crouch to lengthen the Mustangs’ lead to 4-0. Graham struggled to keep pace as most of their own offensive chances fizzled out soon after entering the final third due to Mason’s aggressive and efficient defensive front. Swooping in with insurance goals to seal a 10th straight trip to the state finals was junior midfielder Sophie Matton and freshman midfielder Fiona Howard toward the end of the contest.

Squaring off with Stuarts Draft for the second time in eight days, Mason had a tall task on their hands as the Cougars had nearly forced overtime in the region championship. It required a heartier commitment to defending Stuarts Draft’s well-executed runs while, on the offensive end, converting the chances the Mustangs would receive.

Turns out that’s exactly what happened. Armstrong nabbed an early first-half goal for the Falls Church natives, and Mason rode a resilient defense and possession-oriented midfield all the way to the finish and to their 10th straight state championship in the 2A classification.

To recap on the enormity of this 10-year run spanning from 2008-17, here are some statistics showcasing just how dominant Mason was and still is, courtesy of Mason physics teacher Bryan Harris. Over the past 10 years, the soccer team went 211-22-5 (.890) overall and in Conference 35 competition they went 183-5-1 (.970). In the postseason, the Mustangs hold a 75-1 record (.990) with a goals for/against of 1354/154, which per game they averaged roughly six goals in the playoffs. In 10 state title games they’ve outscored opponents 35-7, having only given up multiple goals once and the Mustangs have also recorded four shutouts. They even recorded two perfect seasons in 2014 (22-0) and 2015 (25-0) and have been helmed by two different coaches during this run.

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