By Drew Costley
George Mason High School’s boys varsity soccer team lost its first regular season match in a 2-0 loss to Robinson Secondary School on Tuesday. They lost their first game of the season 3-2 in a home scrimmage to Marshall High School last Friday. The Mustangs’ first scrimmage against Hayfield High School, which was scheduled for last Wednesday, was canceled because of inclement weather.
Head Coach Frank Spinello said the team learned that they “had to play with a lot more composure” after their game against Marshall. He said the Mustangs played well during patches of the game but they need to “play a full 80 minutes” to be competitive going forward.
Two freshmen, midfielder Grant Goodwin and striker Raheem Lawal, scored George Mason’s goals against the Statesmen.
“Lawal comes up from our JV and is a very dangerous striker that can score from almost anywhere,” Spinello said earlier this season.
Marshall was one of three teams George Mason has on its early season schedule who play in a higher division than the Mustangs. The other two are Tuscarora High School and Robinson.
“I was really pleased with the way we played,” Spinello said, adding that the team played well on both sides of the field and “showed a lot of composure” against Robinson.
Robinson scored both of its goals in the middle of the first half. Despite giving up those two goals, senior goaltender Sebastian Umerez had 16 saves and gave up no rebounds against the Rams.
“Every team wishes they had a shot stopper like him,” Spinello said. “And we are fortunate enough to have him.”
According to Spinello, Paul Darmstadter, a junior midfielder for the Mustangs, played a prominent role in helping the Mustangs after the Rams scored the game’s only goals.
Spinello said, Darmstadter “organized the team well, got a counterattack started” and made sure everyone on the team was at ease.
Darmstadter is in his first season back with the Mustangs after playing for the Potomac Soccer Association, a team that is part of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Because of his involvement with that program, he was not able to play for the Mustangs last season. At the beginning of the season, Spinello said the Mustangs “are very happy to have him back.”
Spinello said Robinson, a semifinalist in the AAA state championship in 2012, helped prepare the Mustangs to play Central High School tomorrow night in their Bull Run District opener. Last season, the Mustangs beat the Falcons in every match, including an 8-1 rout in the quarterfinals of the Bull Run District championships.
To beat the Falcons, the Mustangs have to work on “maintaining possession” and playing another complete game, according to Spinello. After Central, the Mustangs will play alumni of George Mason this Saturday morning. Then they play Tuscarora next Tuesday at home in their last game before George Mason goes on spring break.