by Matt Delaney
Continuing their month-long upward trend, George Mason’s varsity girls soccer team claimed a pair of 8-0 wins over Conference 35 opponents this past week, beating Strasburg High School last Friday and finishing with Madison County High School on Tuesday.
Mason was in full control against Madison County. They had the lion’s share of possessions and were hovering deep in the Mountaineers zone throughout most of the game.
The score reflects their offensive activity. Junior midfielder Rebecca Crouch glided through Madison County’s defense en route to Mason’s first goal just two minutes in. Sophomore forward Izzy Armstrong followed suit on her own scoring chance five minutes later and midway through the second half booted her second goal in from 25 yards out.
Crouch and senior midfielder Corrine Carson added two more quick goals right before halftime. Freshman midfielder Maura Mann added another goal before Armstrong and Crouch completed their hat tricks, with Crouch’s being the decisive eighth goal that permitted the game’s early conclusion.
While Mason did put on another strong performance, it was no easy accomplishment. “Madison County just never gives up,” Crouch said. “When we played them at their field they just kept going to the last second, which is good because it’s good competition.”
Determination on Madison County’s part almost spelled trouble for Mason in a few instances in the first half. Early on when Mason only led 2-0, the Mountaineers earned a free kick just outside of Mason’s box but directly in front of sophomore goalkeeper Laura Whitaker. Luckily, the shot sailed high over the crossbar.
The next instance was even more alarming. A Madison County corner kick found a fellow Mountaineer in the crowd who launched a low shot past Whitaker. A Mustang guarding the post prevented the shot from breaking the plane, but another Madison County player scooped up the rebound and got off a clean shot, but only to hit the post and go out of bounds.
“Sometimes, we get caught on our toes,” head coach Allison Klink said. “But luckily, some of our players stepped up and were urgent in that situation and saved those goals from happening.”
Against Strasburg, Mason had less scares and quicker scores. Armstrong, Crouch and Carson helped lead the offensive charge along with midfielders senior Kate Mills and sophomore Victoria Rund. The patchwork defense assembled in light of injuries effectively warded off the hair-raising chances that Madison County received when facing Mason.
The Mustangs travel to Central High School for their next game on Friday, May 6.