George Mason High School’s boys soccer team continues to chug right along as victories over Loudoun County, Rappahannock and Strasburg high schools have kept their record unblemished.
With the Mustangs (8-0-1) holding a 56-7 goal differential on the season, it’s a surprise that coming into the year offense was a reason for concern. It was lack of offensive dynamism that hamstrung Mason the previous season and caused their streak of four straight 2A state titles to upsettingly end in the regional home opener. But those days seem distant now as the Mustangs tear through their schedule, and opposing defenses, on their own terms.
“The good thing is we’re not relying on one player to score the goals,” Mason head coach Frank Spinello said. “We have five guys each with three goals, and our top scorers don’t have anymore than five, so we’re spreading the ball around nicely.”
A game against Loudoun County last week was Mason’s final match against a higher-classified opponent. A (mostly) clean sweep in the face of that level of competition (they did have the one tie against the Mountain Brook High School from Tennessee) would be a welcoming sign that the Mustangs are back in state championship form. Motivated by the opportunity, Mason came out strong against the Raiders and tallied three first-half goals to take a 3-1 lead into the break. Both teams added one more goal apiece in the second half to preserve the win in favor of the Falls Church natives.
Competitions against Rappahannock County and Strasburg were also indicative of the team’s dominant form. When facing the oddly subdued Panthers, the Mustangs had their way with Rappahannock County by compiling 24 goals in the abridged 60 minute contest. Following the game, the Panther’s head coach mentioned to Mason’s field staff that he would’ve preferred they go down the way they did rather than forfeit the game outright.
For Spinello and the Mustangs, there was a desire to let staple reserves get some field time and net a few goals, but there was also the awareness to avoid being ugly about it.
“That certainly wasn’t our intention to rub it in [against Rappahannock County],” Spinello continued. “But I’m not gonna tell guys who sat on the bench all day [in the previous game] not to score once they get on the field.
The game against Rams was more competitive, but Mason still dominated throughout, scoring at will and ensuring this game also had an early end.
Now the Mustangs move into the meat of their Bull Run district schedule for the remainder of the season. Next up, they’ll face Madison County High School on April 24.