By Drew Costley
After beating the Central High School Falcons 6-0 last Thursday in the Bull Run District opener, George Mason High School’s boys varsity soccer team lost 4-2 to double-A Tuscarora High School on Tuesday. The Mustangs blocked several early offensive advances from the Huskies but buckled and gave up four goals in the second half.
George Mason sophomore midfielder Kavon Nowroozi scored the first goal of the game in the eighth minute after recovering a Tuscarora defensive turnover inside of the Huskies’ goal box. The Mustangs withstood 10 attempts at a goal after Nowroozi’s score before scoring their second goal of the game.
Senior striker/midfielder Kurt Ellis and freshman striker Raheem Lawal got a few steps behind the Huskies’ defense while Lawal controlled the ball. He passed the ball to Ellis in the crease, who made a few moves before shooting the ball into the net in the final minutes of the first half. Despite being outshot 11-5 in the first half, the Mustangs held a two-goal lead over the 2012 double-A state runner-up.
“I think we played very well in the first half,” said senior goalkeeper Sebastian Umerez. “We showed them we can compete with them even though they are a lot bigger than us.” Umerez had 13 saves against the Huskies.
During the first half, the Huskies made continuous substitutions and kept their legs fresh, setting them up for a second-half comeback.
Tuscarora senior striker Angel Ceron-Garcia started the comeback when he took advantage of a defensive miscue by the Mustangs and scored a goal in the 46th minute. Freshman striker Diego Rodriguez scored Tuscarora’s second goal in the 60th minute. The Huskies took the lead in the 73rd minute when sophomore striker Justin Carey scored a goal on the only corner kick the Mustangs didn’t immediately clear out of their goal box.
“On that corner kick, it was just a miscommunication between a man and his mark,” said senior midfielder Henry Darmstadter. “The mark got free and no one had him and he got open and it was a good header.”
Ceron-Garcia scored the final goal of the game in the 75th minute on an assist from Carey to give the Huskies their 4-2 victory.
The Mustangs had a better outcome against Central.
“I think we played really beautiful football. It was fun to watch,” said Head Coach Frank Spinello. “We played perfect passes, moved hard off the ball and worked really hard tonight and it really showed.”
Sophomore defender Patrick Pereddo scored the Mustangs’ first goal against the Falcons in the 25th minute. Lawal scored the Mustangs’ second goal two minutes later on an assist from junior striker Cole Hinson. Junior midfielder Paul Darmstadter scored the Mustangs’ final goal of the first half in the 36th minute.
Nowroozi extended George Mason’s lead to 4-0 in the 55th minute of the game. Junior midfielder/striker Sinan Kokuuslu scored the Mustangs’ fifth goal of the game in the 65th minute of the game. Paul Darmstadter scored his second goal and the Mustangs’ sixth and final goal of the game in the 72nd minute of the game off of a corner kick.
“We had a lot of great build-ups,” said Paul Darmstadter. “We started from the back, went to the midfield and then we went up top and scored and got all the goals like that.”
The Mustangs play their next game against another district opponent on April 2 at Madison County High School.