by Matt Delaney
A declarative 5-0 victory over Warren County High School on Tuesday, coupled with a 6-1 victory over Clark County High School last Friday, extends George Mason’s varsity girls soccer team win streak to seven games and boosts their record to 8-1-1.
The 3-3 tie with Warren County on April 1 fostered the one thing that can unsettle any great team: doubt. Stunned from the result of their first meeting with the Wildcats, Mason questioned their credibility as perennial state champions and began soul-searching for the cohesion that helped them rise to the top in past seasons.
Six consecutive wins following that upsetting tie proved the Mustangs’ cohesion was apparent, but the ultimate test was to employ it against Warren County in their rematch on home turf. Mason pounced on the opportunity.
“It was a huge deal,” senior midfielder Corrine Carson said. “We really needed [this win] as a team to come and prove that if we don’t play in our heads we can play some really great soccer.”
The Mustangs shooed away their demons on the pitch against Warren County. Sophomore forward Izzy Armstrong found fellow sophomore midfielder Victoria Rund streaking down the left side of the field for the game’s first goal.
Carson speedily completed her hat trick in a 14 minute span while junior midfielder Rebecca Crouch notched the game’s final goal midway through the second half on an assist from freshman midfielder Maura Mann.
Last week’s home win against Clark County improved Mason’s standing in Conference 35, but not without some exit wounds. The Mustangs lost a key pair of juniors on their back line in Megan Butler and Carly Roberson, leaving senior defenders Caroline Stricker and Clara Frost as the only regulars on defense. Butler’s season ended with a torn anterior crucial ligament and Roberson was afflicted with deep tissue bruising that kept her out of Tuesday’s Warren County rematch.
Losses along the defensive line have forced head coach Allison Klink to get creative with her line-ups. Thankfully, she has a stable of seniors who willingly fill-in at any position on the field, which is why usual midfielder Ella Howard was seen in a different role against Warren County.
“Being seniors, they know it’s important for them to be on the field no matter where it is,” Klink said. “They were up for the challenge and did a fantastic job.”
Mason will look to continue their win streak on the road against Strasburg High School on Friday, April 29.