Building momentum as the postseason nears, George Mason High School’s varsity girls soccer team handled their business in wins over Strasburg High School, 8-0, and on the road against Madison County High School, 1-0, this past week.
The Mustangs (11-1) came out hot against Strasburg last Friday. Less than seven minutes into the game, senior midfielder Rebecca Crouch had already tallied two goals to go with junior midfielder Victoria Rund’s one to nudge Mason comfortably ahead at 3-0. And though a three-goal advantage put the Mustangs in the driver’s seat, their level of urgency waned for a period before junior forward Izzy Armstrong reignited Mason with her first goal minutes before halftime.
“We had a discussion…that we need to be either good or amazing,” Mason head coach Allison Klink said. “You’re not going to be amazing for every second of every game, but you have to be solid throughout the game and I felt [the team] did do that, so I’m not upset about them not scoring that many goals after the quick three to start.”
The second half of play against the Rams became a balancing act between running the team’s preferred scheme and also allowing Crouch to connect on her 100th career assist. Crouch thought the record was in-hand when a through ball left sophomore midfielder Maura Mann alone with Strasburg’s goalie. Mann sidestepped the keeper’s charge and was staring down an open net, but her low shot was slightly misfired and dinged off the post, leaving Crouch clutching her head in disbelief.
Crouch went on to score her third goal of the match after a Mann pass to Armstrong was deflected her way and she tapped it in uncontested. Junior defender Jessie Beddow booted in another goal off a rebound moments later to keep up the offensive pressure and Armstrong found Crouch for Mason’s seventh goal a few minutes after that to put Mason within one goal of an abridged end to the game. Determined to leave the game with the triple-digit career assists, Crouch fought off her scoring instincts and fished for openings in the Rams’ defense to fit passes into. After being stonewalled a few times, Crouch finally, snuck a ball past Strasburg’s back line to Armstrong, who buried the shot and joined the rest of the players in embracing her teammate.
“I think my assists record shows how much I wanna work for my team,” Crouch said. “I like giving people the opportunity to score and it says more about how I play, because I don’t play just for me.”
Mason traveled to Madison on Tuesday to take on the Mountaineers in what was a tightly contested match throughout. Neither team’s offense was at their best, but the Mustangs got a larger helping of possessions thanks to their scrappy midfield and stifling defense on the back. All of their opportunities on offense eventually culminated in a game-deciding goal as Mason had to sink just one of their shots to escape with a 1-0 win by the end.
The Mustangs host Central High School Thursday before traveling to Rappahannock County High School next Tuesday, May 9.