Two of George Mason High School’s athletic programs proved to be the cream of the crop during Virginia High School League championships this past weekend, with the girls varsity lacrosse team winning their first ever 4A state title and the girls varsity soccer team earning their 10th consecutive 2A state title.
In lacrosse, the Mustangs defeated Riverside High School in a 15-14 thriller down in Salem. Riverside, the region champs, bested Mason just a week earlier for that title in an 18-6 rout. On a neutral field and with the stakes raised, the Mustangs came ready for the challenge at hand. An early 3-1 deficit didn’t faze Mason as they re-centered their efforts and trimmed the Rams’ advantage to one at 8-7 before kickstarting a three-goal run that took the Mustangs into halftime up 10-9.
Mason lengthened their lead in the second half and at one point created a comfortable 14-10 margin. However, the Rams retaliated with three unanswered goals to keep the Mustangs honest, and forced Mason to close out the game strong on the defensive end and secure the championship with an insurance goal in the final two minutes.
The soccer state title game was also a rematch of the region championship and a nail-biter, too, but in a different sense. Facing off against Stuarts Draft for the second time in eight days, all it took for Mason to secure their 10th consecutive title was an early first half goal by junior Izzy Armstrong and heady defense to complete the feat with a 1-0 victory. The Cougars were an aggressive team and effectively challenged the Mustangs, yet they still couldn’t tap into a significant edge after Mason cleaned up the mistakes that made last week’s region championship such a tense affair.