It was business as usual for George Mason High School’s boys soccer team as it handled Central High School and Madison County High School en route to an unblemished regular season where the team didn’t sacrifice a goal in Bull Run District competition.
As the playoffs await next week, it’s clear that Mason (12-0-1) is officially back to prominence as a state title contender. The Mustangs are currently ranked as the fourth best boys soccer team throughout the Washington, D.C. metro area by The Washington Post and are ranked 20th in Top Drawer Soccer’s FAB-50 rankings. Mason went a perfect 10-0 in district play while accumulating 91 goals and surrendering zero during the league season.
Still, the team has resisted the urge to look ahead and been laser-focused on whatever the next task at hand is.
“We are taking our season one game at a time. We are not looking forward to anything other than the next game on our schedule,” Mason head coach Frank Spinello said.
That mindset was on display during last Friday’s 7-0 win against Madison County. Despite competing against both the Mountaineers and a crummy field, the Mustangs eventually got things going when freshman midfielder Declan Quill’s shot in the 25th minute knocked down Madison County’s keeper, allowing sophomore midfielder Zorhan Boston to knock in the rebound. In the 54th minute, senior midfielder Carlos Mercado fed Quill for a shot into the upper 90 of the net and senior forward Peter Scardino fed Mercado minutes later for the team’s third goal of the game.
Scardino again assisted a goal when he set up senior defender Liam Fribley’s 25-yard chip-in in the 77th minute. Sophomore midfielder Maddox Kong assisted Quill’s second goal of the game on some give-and-go action, and Kong later cashed in himself when he gained space from the defense after a hesitation move and ripped a shot into the upper right corner of the net.
Against Clarke County Tuesday, the Mustangs faced more resistance but managed to secure a 4-0 result. The Eagles played a defensive formation by slinking their midfielders back, but junior midfielder Nick Wells still broke through in the 27th minute after junior defender Miles Lankford’s clear found a soft spot in the defense and Wells converted a one-on-one with the goalie. Wells later set up Quill for a one-on-one with the goalie that he also converted in the 34th minute.
Quill scored a penalty kick in the 48th minute and, after a lengthy rain delay, helped Mason put the finishing touches on Clarke County with an assist to Kong for the game’s final goal.
Spinello credits a deep roster for the team’s success this year, but made it especially clear that taking better care of the ball and strong management in the middle of the field from Quill, Mercado and senior defender Tim Andrianarison have helped identify mismatches and keep the team’s pace solid.
Now, it’s on to the postseason. With the opponent and game location still to be determined, Mason has time to work out any remaining kinks in their game.
“We need to make the game as easy as possible when it gets chaotic, and the game is always filled with chaos,” Spinello added. “Use communication and preparation, that is our goal in the next couple of weeks.”