by Matt Delaney
Another week passes and George Mason’s varsity boys soccer team remains at the top of their food chain, besting Conference 35 opponents Central High School 8-0, Madison County High School 11-0 and Rappahannock County High School 8-0 all while preserving their unbeaten start to the season.
Facing the Falcons for the second and final time, the Mustangs resumed exercising the control evident in their first meeting. An assist from senior forward Donal Reyes de Leon set up sophomore forward Kevin Valle’s goal just three minutes in. Moments later senior midfielder Samsudeen Sallah’s through ball went through a Central player’s legs before finding senior Elliot Mercado’s foot for an easy chip-in. Mercado’s penalty kick put Mason ahead 3-0 14 minutes into the game.
From there the slowing scored. Sallah put one in the net right before half while senior midfielder Grant Goodwin knocked in his own right after it, with goals from Mercado, Reyes de Leon and sophomore forward Peter Scardino finished off the night.
A casual win for Mason was accented by a great individual accomplishment for Mercado, who scored his 100th career goal for the Mustangs when he tallied his second of the game in the 62nd minute.
“I really have to thank my teammates for putting me in position to score goals throughout my three years with Mason soccer,” Mercado said. “It’s pretty awesome and I’ve enjoyed myself while doing it.”
A weekend separated the Mustangs from two back-to-back road contests against rivals Madison County and Rappahannock County, but the heavy travel didn’t affect their performance because it can’t disrupt the team’s passion.
“We try to get the team to play with passion and energy each game,” head coach Frank Spinello said. “Without passion you don’t have energy, and without energy you don’t have anything.”
Reyes de Leon turned his passion into energy with four goals against Madison County, followed by a trio of two-goal teammates in Goodwin, Mercado and Sallah. Goodwin, Reyes de Leon and Sallah each had two assists on the night as well.
Mason stayed in stride with a win over Rappahannock County to end their road trip. Reyes de leon led the scoring again, this time with a hat trick, while Mercado put two in the net as well. Reinforcements rounding out the scoring with Scardino adding one goal and junior forward Riley Marcus contributing two himself.
The Mustangs finish the regular season this upcoming week, starting at home against Clarke County High School May 13 before they close out on the road against William Monroe High School May 17.