by Matt Delaney
George Mason High School’s girls varsity soccer team is posting an impressive win streak of five straight after a 1-0 victory over William Monroe High School Tuesday night was preceded by a 10-1 win against Rappahannock County last Friday.
Pulling into Standardsville, home of William Monroe, the Mustangs knew they had their work cut out for them. The Dragons had an unblemished 6-0 record prior to their loss against Mason and had surrendered a mere five goals all season while scoring a whopping 36. William Monroe had even walloped Warren County High School 9-2; the same Warren County team that managed a 3-3 draw against Mason back on April 1.
If there was ever concern over a Conference 35 opponent upsetting Mason during the regular season, William Monroe fit the bill. However, the Mustangs knew what their competitors brought to the table and pulled no punches as a result.
From the opening whistle Mason sparred with William Monroe. The Mustangs midfielders consisting of seniors Corinne Carson, Kate Mills and Ella Howard along with junior Rebecca Crouch were able to steady the offense with controlled possessions and set up sophomores midfielder Victoria Rund and forward Izzy Armstrong.
“I think we’ve done a good job with moving the ball, but [last week] we lost sight of working for each score by forcing thru balls and trying to run onto passes,” head coach Allison Klink said. “That’s not the type of game we want to always play, but you can see our ball movement once we slowed it down, so we just need to work on keeping that throughout the whole game.”
But William Monroe’s defense was ready for the challenge, cutting off passes and pushing the ball into Mason’s half of the field with surges of their own complimented by a solid passing game that kept the Mustangs defense and sophomore goalkeeper Laura Whitaker on their toes.
Both sides traded possessions for much of the contest, until Mason finally broke through with a goal of their own in the second half, prompting them to tighten up on defense and ensure the win.
The victory over William Monroe will thicken plotlines as the season winds down and postseason tournaments begin, but Mason will have to rack up wins against some of their more lowly opponents like Rappahannock County before they can start thinking about that.
A 10-1 victory on April. 15 was Mason’s fourth straight to be ended under the mercy rule and helped the Mustangs build a head of steam going into their road game against William Monroe. The Panthers lone goal was the fifth allowed by Whitaker all season.
The Mustangs are home for the next week, hosting Clarke County High School on April 22 before playing Warren County again on April 26.