Mustang Girls Continue Dominance Over Conference 35

DOING THE DIRTY WORK is sophomore midfielder Maura Mann. Along with fellow sophomore Maddie LaCroix, Mann helps the Mustangs maintain possessions and advance the offense into scoring opportunities against opponents. (Photo: Carol Sly)

Increasing their win streak to 11, the George Mason High School’s varsity girls soccer team cruised past Rappahannock County High School, 8-0, and Central High School, 7-0, this past week.

The Mustangs (13-1) haven’t lost a game since their 6-1 defeat at the hands local 5A team J.E.B. Stuart High School on Mar. 27. Better yet, Mason’s record in Conference 35 competition has remained spotless as they’ve outscored those opponents 69-5 over the course of the season. The result has allowed the Mustangs to be a bit more flexible with their line-ups and experiment with different ways to approach the game.

“We like to substitute in other players so we can develop other aspects of our game and build familiarity on the field throughout the entire team,” Mason head coach Allison Klink said. “Lately we’ve been putting an added emphasis on crossing and finishing those chances so we’re generating a variety of goal scoring opportunities and keeping opponents guessing on offense.”

That plan was in full effect Tuesday against Rappahannock as Mason chipped away at the Panthers on offense. Freshman midfielder Fiona Howard started the scoring 10 minutes into the game when her corner kick looped toward the goal and past Rappahannock’s goalkeeper. Junior midfielder Victoria Rund went on to score an unassisted goal soon after by reclaiming the ball deep inside Rappahannock County’s defensive zone and turning around for a quick shot to go up 2-0. Howard connected with Rund moments later to give Mason a three goal lead, and was followed close behind when junior forward Izzy Armstrong fed a pass to sophomore midfielder Ariana Rocco who found the back of the net.

Sophomore midfielder Maura Mann tacked on two unassisted goals with Armstrong’s first of the game being sandwiched in between to end the first half up 7-0. The scoring subsided significantly in the second half, but freshman defender Julia Rosenburg managed to set up junior midfielder Hannah Rollins’ lone goal to boost Mason’s advantage to eight and end the match early.

The offensive success that carried the Mustangs’ win over Rappahannock County was also present in their dominant showing against Central last Thursday. Mann kicked off the bombardment on the Falcons with two consecutive goals — the first assisted by Armstrong and the second by Rund. Rund prevented Central from clearing their defensive zone and again forced a turnover that she converted into a third goal for Mason. Armstrong got on the board toward the end of the first half when senior midfielder Rebecca Crouch’s through ball caught Armstrong in stride as she barrelled at the Falcon’s goalkeeper and beat her with a quick shot.

In the second half, Mann completed her hat trick thanks to an assist from Fiona Howard. Mann returned the favor to Armstrong for her earlier assist when she sent a crisp pass Armstrong’s way for her second and Mason’s sixth goal of the game. Howard finished off the scoring for the Mustangs on an assist from Armstrong to bring the game to its final margin of 7-0.

The Mustangs host Clarke County High School this Friday before visiting William Monroe High School next Tuesday, May 16, to close out the regular season.