Mustangs Rebound from Madison Co. Loss in Big Way

JUNIOR MIDFIELDER Maura Mann’s lob into the box set up Mason’s second goal and built an insurmountable cushion in the team’s 3-0 win over Madison County. (Photo: Carol Sly)

After George Mason High School’s girls soccer team’s first loss to Madison County High School in over a decade on May 7, the Mustangs got to payback the Mountaineers with a convincing win of its own.

The loss was no doubt a shock for the perennial contender in Mason (9-3). Allowing five goals in a single half, let alone to a team the Mustangs have owned since the turn of the century, could have rattled Mason’s confidence. Instead, they rallied for a 3-0 last Friday decision that put Madison County back in its place right before the postseason is set to begin.

“It felt really good to get them back,” sophomore forward Emma Rollins said. “And we didn’t have the benefit of a lot of practice time either since we had two games earlier this week, so it’s nice to know we were still prepared to take them on without the extra prep.”

The Mountaineers came to play during last week’s regular season home finale for Mason. Mason’s possessions occasionally broke down due to soft passes in the middle of the field, where Madison County was quick react. In the 13th minute the Mountaineers generated a rush after creating a turnover around the center circle. As a Madison County forward was in position to shoot, senior goalkeeper Laura Whitaker raced out of the box to cut off her angle. Whitaker blocked the shot, but was vulnerable to a second chance opportunity when a Mountaineer midfielder swooped in for the rebound. Luckily for Mason, the shot soared over the crossbar.

From there on out the Mustangs were more aggressive with their possessions. A corner kick in the 21st minute saw Mason get stoned three consecutive times point blank. Senior midfielder Victoria Rund’s tenacity earned her a free kick in the 36th minute when she slipped past two defenders only to get fouled. Rund’s shot hit a crossbar, but a minute later Rollins earned another Mustang free kick and their first tally of the game when a low grounder skipped through traffic and into the bottom right corner of the goal.

Early in the second half Mason struck again. Rollins took a through ball to the right corner of Madison County’s offensive zone before sending it back to junior midfielder Maura Mann at the top of the box. Mann chipped a high, looping feed into the heart of Madison County box for Rund, but it glanced off her head and veered toward the end line. That was until senior midfielder Sophie Matton was there to gather the deflection for a putback to push the Mustangs to 2-0.

Rollins capped off the scoring in the 70th minute after receiving a pass from junior midfielder Maddie Lacroix.

“From the beginning, we had the game where we wanted,” Mason head coach George Bitadze said. “We just have to keep working to find out the patterns of the game, and players have to be willing to change throughout to find out what works.”

The win over Madison County, along with an earlier 1-0 win over Central High School, have put the Mustangs in good position for the postseason next week. However, they played one final regular season game against Clarke County High School last night, but results weren’t available by press time.