By Drew Costley
George Mason High School’s boys varsity soccer team is the top team in the Bull Run District with four games left in the regular season. The Mustangs played Manassas Park High School, the second best team in the district, to a 0-0 tie on Tuesday after routing Madison County High School 8-0 last Friday.
Raheem Lawal, a freshman striker for George Mason, is the leading scorer in all Northern Virginia schools as of May 1 with 14 goals so far this season. He scored a hat trick against the Madison County Mountaineers.
“Raheem got us started early with calm finishes,” said Head Coach Frank Spinello.
Lawal scored the Mustangs’ first and second goals in the fourth and 12th minutes. Junior striker Cole Hinson scored in the 22nd minute and sophomore midfielder Kavon Nowroozi followed up with a goal two minutes later. Junior midfielder Paul Darmstadter scored the Mustangs’ fifth goal in the 30th minute and junior midfielder/striker Sinan Kokuuslu scored another in the 37th to put the Mustangs up 6-0 after one half. Hinson scored the Mustangs’ seventh goal in the 50th minute and Lawal rounded out the scoring onslaught with a goal in the 62nd minute.
“We controlled the match from the beginning through possession and dangerous passing,” Spinello said. Paul Darmstadter had three, Hinson had two, and senior midfielder Henry Darmstadter had one assists against the Mountaineers.
“Our finishing was clinical and we were patient waiting for the proper times to get forward,” Spinello said.
Spinello said the contest against Manassas Park was “a very tight match.” The Mustangs and Cougars played two overtimes.
“We controlled the game in the overtime periods and had the better chances,” Spinello said.
Senior goalkeeper Sebastian Umerez had 12 saves against the Cougars. “Both goalkeepers came up with big saves when needed,” Spinello said of Umerez and Daniel Morales for Manassas Park, adding that Umerez “played an overall outstanding match.”
According to Spinello, sophomore midfielder/defender Ned Quill was the player of the match. He had praise for some of his other defensive midfielders as well.
“Kokuuslu was dangerous and created a lot of opportunities, as well as hustled back to help defend,” Spinello said. “[Henry]Darmstadter played tough at center back and was a physical presence when we needed it.”
The Cougars’ only district loss was a 5-1 match they played against the Mustangs in early April. The tie against Manassas Park was the Mustangs’ first scoreless game since their first game of the regular season, a 0-2 loss to Robinson Secondary School. But Spinello was still grateful for the outcome.
“Although we always want a victory, the tie still keeps us in the driver’s seat in the district with four games to go,” Spinello said.
The Mustangs play William Monroe High School on Friday at home and travel to Rappahannock County High School next Tuesday to play the Panthers.