George Mason High School’s developing soccer teams stepped out Monday for their first games, with both the varsity boys and girls teams taking on teams from Freedom High School. Neither Mason teams achieved victory, but both are young and talented, and are simply trying to “find their groove early in the season” said senior and boys team captain Eion Oosterbaan.
The girls soccer team began with a slow start in an away game against a AAA Freedom squad, allowing its opponents to score and keep possession until sophomore Claire Trevisan picked up the tempo with a goal at 13 minutes. Shortly after another goal from Freedom, Mason’s aggression rose and another goal was scored by Trevisan. Freshman Mary Keenan executed a cross that Trevisan finished with a header to the upper corner, ending the first half tied 2-2.
Freedom’s intensity led them to their third goal within the first minute of the second half, but it didn’t impact Mason’s drive and desire to carry out the game.
The Mason players began connecting passes, which helped them penetrate Freedom’s defense and resulted in many opportunities on goal. After a battle in front of the goal, Keenan was able to score with 11 minutes remaining.
Despite Mason’s determination to pull out a victory, a goal scored by Freedom at the two-minute mark led to a loss of 4-3.
“It’s good we created so many chances on goal, but it’s disappointing that we wouldn’t convert them,” Head Coach Jennifer Parsons said.
The Mason boys also played a competitive Freedom team, at home that night. Starting off a little flat, the Mason boys struggled to maintain possession. Freedom managed to get a corner kick and scored by a head ball within the first 10 minutes. This awakening goal led Mason to increase their intensity, which helped them gain control of the ball for the remainder of the first half.
Seniors Stephan Cotner and captains Ze’ev Lailari and Brendan Fribley played resilient defense against Freedom’s talented offense that helped create opportunities on goal for attacking center-mid Oosterbaan and the rest of Mason’s striking offense. This boosted the team’s confidence, making them more aggressive in all aspects, essentially controlling the game.
“We had a lot of very good scoring chances in the last 15 minutes of the game, but unfortunately we couldn’t find the back of the net,” Oosterbaan said.
Despite the many chances to score, and a breakaway by sophomore Sinan Kokuuslu that was halted by a questionable call to end the game, Mason narrowly lost the game 1-0.
“It’s always tough to lose the first game, but we showed a lot of potential for the upcoming season,” said Trevisan.