By Jeffrey Wojtala
George Mason High School field hockey team improved its records recently with wins posted on Sept. 11 against their crosstown rivals Bishop O’Connell High School, 3-0, and a Sept. 12 against Gar-Field High School, 10-0.
Mason, coached by Amanda Crider and Maeve Burg, began their contest looking to get back to .500 for the season. The O’Connell Knights began the game with the ball and the fast-paced aggressive tempo commenced. Quick passing by both teams kept the momentum of the game at a high level. Mason’s relentless attack paid off at the 19:56 mark of the first half when they were awarded their first penalty corner of the night. After the initial hard slap shot from junior Kayleigh Zigler was stopped, senior Olivia Cipriano tapped the rebound home to make it 1-0 Mason. Mason would have a second penalty corner in the half but failed to score. The Knights would be awarded four penalty corners of their own in the half but could not get one past Mason goaltender Kelly Fischer. Mason’s defense consisting of junior Alex Biggs and seniors Lydia Grund and Victoria Friend, were also strong in the half preserving the shutout.
The second half began with Mason starting with ball possession. Mason’s attack continued with robust midfield stick work and play by Cipriano, senior Meredith Johnson, senior Celine Diz and Zigler along with her sister, freshman Ashley. With 12:57 left in the game senior Kalena Wojtala was inserted into the game at attack. After corralling a pass from Cipriano, Wojtala backhanded a shot pass the Knights’ goalie to produce a well needed two goal cushion. Support from Mason’s strong forwards, senior Hope Bossart, juniors Alida Dayton and Katie Deal along with seniors Kat Hansen and Chloe Young yielded numerous penalty corners for the team. On Mason’s 11th corner of the half Diz scored, after a swift shot into play by senior Meredith Johnson, to increase Mason’s lead to three. Mason finished the night 2 for 13 on penalty corners and the Knights finished 0 for 5.
On Tuesday night, Mason traveled to Woodbridge to face the Gar-Field Indians. The Indians’ team is a new program and are, unfortunately, winless thus far in the season. Mason continued their strong play from the previous night and with 10:20 off the game clock had set a four-goal advantage against the Indians. At the horn to end the first half Mason was ahead 7-0.
In the second half Mason took their foot off the pedal and began to work on the fundamentals in their game. Mason did score another three in the half to bring the score to 10-0 Mason at the final horn. Both goaltenders for Mason, Kristen Kay and Kelly Fischer, took turns between the pipes. Goals in the second half were by Celine Diz assisted by Hope Bossart; Ashley Zigler (2), and Chloe Young from Olivia Cipriano. The win brings the Varsity’s record to 3-2 in the season.
Mason hosted J.E.B. Stuart High School on Monday, where they won the contest a 6-1. However, the following night the Mustangs would lose 2-1 to Kettle Run High School while on the road.