Another “W” was added to the win column last week as George Mason High School’s boys soccer team dispatched Strasburg High School on May 4, 9-0.
After nearly two months of the season, Mason (10-0-1) is still mystifying to watch in comparison to last year. By this point in 2017, the Mustangs had conceded three goals in Bull Run Competition. Senior goalkeeper Ethan Morse hasn’t surrendered a tally to district competition yet in 2018. Similarly, last season Mason defeated opponents by decisive five or three-goal margin; this season it’s a rarity if Mason doesn’t end games early with eight-goal leads.
The 180 in performance on both sides of the ball is something Mason head coach Frank Spinello attributes to the challenge of the tournament in Tennessee to start the season.
“The Smoky Mountain Cup definitely helped us get off to a good start and gave us a lot of confidence. We played against top-ranked teams from different states and competed well enough to win the tournament. It also helped us quickly get acclimated with each other and learn about each other,” Spinello said. “We realized at that point that as long as we play together and trust each other that we can do big things. The team bonding at the Cup on our downtime may have been the biggest reason we have meshed so well on and off the field.”
That synergy was on display against the Rams last Friday. Sophomore midfielder Zorhan Boston sent a shot into the twine less than three minutes after the opening whistle. In the fifth minute, freshman midfielder Declan Quill added the Mustangs’ second goal while Boston knocked in the team’s third by the 19th minute. Junior midfielder Nick Wells scored less than a minute later while senior midfielder Carlos Mercado rocketed a shot from the top of the box to bring Mason to 5-0 by the 28th minute.
The relative ease the Mustangs played with carried them through the end of the first half and into the second.
Sophomore midfielder Maddox Kong was tripped in the box and set up senior defender Liam Fribley’s penalty kick right before halftime.
As rain began to come down after the intermission, Quill knocked in his second and Boston completed his hat trick soon after that to decide the game. Freshman forward Smith Kraft snuck in a final goal before the game was called off at the 60 minute mark.
Still, Spinello saw some loose ends that needed tightening to feel confident going forward.
“We never want to get complacent or lazy. I noticed some defensive breakdowns in the past couple of games and luckily they did not cost us goals, so we have been tightening that up during practices,” Spinello added. “Everyone needs to be on top of their game whether it is a practice or a game and it feeds on itself.”
Mason soundly beat Central High School 8-0 Wednesday night. They’ll travel to play Madison County High School tonight.