Sports

Now 10 in a Row, Mustangs Rounding Into Playoff Form

SOPHOMORE MIDFIELDER Declan Quill received high praise from Mason head coach Frank Spinello for doing yeoman’s work that doesn’t make it to the stat sheet. (Photo: Carol Sly)

Tacking on two more wins to the season total, George Mason High School’s boys soccer team continues to own the Bull Run District with wins over Central High School and Strasburg High School.

It’s been business as usual for the Mustangs (12-1-1) as they make their way through the home stretch of their regular season schedule. Offensively, Mason is able to create looks from both the interior of the field as well as the perimeter. And defensively, senior defender Miles Lankford and Co. haven’t allowed a goal since late April when they faced Madison County High School. Things have been falling into place for the Mustangs, and Mason head coach Frank Spinello noted it was a midfield anchored by sophomore Declan Quill who made the difference against Central.

“Man of the Match was [Quill], who was all over the place for us defensively and supporting the offense. He showed leadership and a work ethic that is rare for a sophomore,” Spinello said. “We look forward to Dec continuing to do great things for us. He is our engine and does so many important things for us that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet.”

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A team that stacks its back line in Central, to go with less-than-ideal field conditions, gave the Mustangs some trouble in the game’s early portion. It wasn’t until the 20th minute when junior forward Zorhan Boston’s assist to freshman forward Yasin Shams broke the scoreless tie, but even then Mason couldn’t rest easy. The bumpy grass didn’t allow for the Mustangs to handle the ball as cleanly as they imagined and tilted the advantage out of their favor.

But a Quill-to-Boston connection in the final minute helped push Mason ahead by two goals, and relaxed the team heading into the second half.

“We showed our grit by ending the half with a goal and getting the quick one in the second half to give us some breathing room. We knew they would have to open up a bit if we put a couple of goals on the board,” Spinello added.

And open up Central did. Junior midfielder Alex Kryazhev fed a Shams’ second goal of the match within the first minute of resuming play. Then in a 20 minute span from the 47th minute to the 67th minute, Mason would add on three goals to round out the scoring — two assists from senior forward Nick Wells for two Boston goals, followed by another Kryazhev-to-Shams pairing to bring the game to its 6-0 margin.

Against Strasburg last Thursday, the dominance was more straight-forward for Mason.

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Boston nabbed the coveted “true hat trick” by scoring three consecutive goals in the same half when two Wells assists were followed by a third from Kryazhev for the Mustangs to go up 3-0 by the 14th minute. Junior midfielder Henry Brorsen’s penalty kick preceded a Kryazhev to Shams combination for the fifth goal. Sophomore midfielder Jack Brown assisted Shams’ second goal of the match in the 24th minute, though Mason wouldn’t score again until the 54th minute when Wells helped complete Shams’ hat trick. Sophomore forward Smith Kraft assisted Kryazhev’s lone goal to complete the 8-0 decision.

Mason will host Madison County High School on Friday.

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