George Mason High School’s varsity girls soccer team entered the second half of their season on a positive note as they dispatched William Monroe High School 4-0 on Tuesday.
It was a much-needed win for Mason (7-1) for no reason other than it’s imperative a team reacquaints itself with the win column after an extended hiatus. It was also the classic return-to-action game for the Mustangs. Flashes early on transitioned into a mid-game rut that forced the team to circle the wagons by halftime and flex their muscles definitively throughout the second half.
“The first ten minutes of the first half was great. We were playing well and had a lot of opportunities on goal, then we dropped down,” head coach Allison Klink said. “We played too many thru-balls, so my instruction of ‘play to feet’ was telling them to stop making the same decisions and start piecing together shorter passes and get it together offensively.”
Mason was quiet for a chunk of the first half. They prevented nearly all of William Monroe’s advances and were dominant in time of possession, but couldn’t click in the final third of the field in front of the Dragons goal. That was until sophomore midfielder Maura Mann snuck a pass by William Monroe’s back line to the streaking junior midfielder Victoria Rund. Rund’s presence forced the Dragons keeper leave the net and allowed her to flip a pass to junior forward Izzy Armstrong, who drilled a shot into the open net.
After the half the Mustangs found ways to keep offensive pressure on William Monroe. Crosses and shots became more frequent and wore down the originally stiff Dragons defense. In the 52nd minute Mann, again, caught William Monroe sleeping as a pointed pass hit Armstrong in stride for a one-on-one with the Dragon’s keeper that couldn’t be denied. Mann finished off her impressive evening with another assist, this time to senior midfielder Rebecca Crouch in the 72nd minute for another Mason goal. Freshman midfielder Emma Rollins blasted in the final tally 90 seconds before the game ended.
The offense stole the show, but it was Mason’s defense that proved to be equally remarkable in quieting William Monroe’s speedy attack.
“We knew number 14 on their team was fast, but we have some really fast players as well, especially in central backs, so the goal was to hold the line and if we had to go on a foot race we were willing to do it,” Klink added.
The Mustangs travel to Clarke County High School on Friday before facing Warren County High School on Apr. 25.