Mason Marches Into Playoffs

Ending the regular season on a high note, George Mason High School’s varsity girls soccer team bowled over Clarke County High School, 7-1, before earning a 3-0 victory against William Monroe High School earlier this week.

The Mustangs (15-1) two-month campaign to the postseason has wrapped up and along the way the team has gradually regained its championship form. After conceding six goals in the first half against J.E.B. Stuart back in March, Mason has managed to allow only five total goals in their following 13 games while accumulating 80 tallies in that same span. That state title-contending ambition was on full display in a cold, rainy game against longtime rival Clarke County last Friday.

“Coming into the game we knew it was going to be physical, so one of our team goals was to be really energetic and start strong,” Mason junior forward Izzy Armstrong said. “If you start weak and not go into tackles, then the whole game is gonna be like that, so we pressed strong from the jump in order to do that for the rest of the game.”

Both teams were drenched a few minutes into the contest, but Mason was able to warm up when they began connecting on their shots. Armstrong fed a soft pass to freshman midfielder Fiona Howard that she booted past the Eagles’ goalkeeper 12 minutes in to get the juices flowing. The weather slowed the game down as neither team could keep possession for long until Armstrong earned her second assist when she scooted a pass behind Clarke County’s back line for sophomore midfielder Maura Mann’s breakaway goal in the 28th minute. A few moments later, sophomore midfielder Maddie Lacroix sent a long, low pass that rolled right to junior midfielder Victoria Rund who scrammed through the Eagles’ defense and sank Mason’s third goal.

Coming out of halftime up 3-0, the Mustangs didn’t waste anytime finding the back of the net again. In the 44th minute Lacroix set up Armstrong’s first goal to firmly put Mason in the driver’s seat. Armstrong dazzled the crowd when she poked the ball through a Clarke defender’s legs, picked up the dribble again and crossed a smooth pass to Howard for her second score of the night. Clarke County would eventually get on the board with less than 10 minutes to play, but Mason threw salt on the wound after Armstrong and Mann both tacked on their second goals to finish off the scoring at 7-1.

Mason capped off the season by earning a 3-0 road win over William Monroe. The Dragons are a well-coached squad and are always stingy on the defensive end, making them a challenge for the Mustangs. Still, Mason was able to crack through just enough to notch three hard-earned goals and leave Stanardsville with the win. Now, all eyes, and adjustments, are focused on the postseason.

“We need to vary up our shooting by getting more shots outside of the 18-yard mark, and making sure we finish our better crosses that come across the box, so those are the biggest things to address moving forward,” Mason head coach Allison Klink said.

The Mustangs face off against Stonewall Jackson High School on Monday, May 22, for the first round of the Conference 35 tournament at home.