Carrying over its strong finish from the regular season into the playoffs is George Mason High School’s boys soccer team, as it brushed aside Strasburg High School 13-0 Tuesday night.
By the time Mason (13-0-1) took the field the wet ball and turf that slowed the varsity girls’ soccer game down was a thing of the past. The Mustangs were able to flex their muscles against the Rams without any interference from Mother Nature, and they prolonged Bull Run District opponents’ scoreless streak versus Mason to another game — something foreign to Mason head coach Frank Spinello’s illustrious tenure as the squad’s headmaster.
“It’s never happened before since I’ve been here,” Spinello said. “One year we allowed in one goal, but otherwise, it’s very rare to do this and an example of how solid our team is.”
The Mustangs didn’t waste time dizzying Strasburg with their offensive might.
Thirty-six seconds into the contest freshman midfielder Declan Quill sent a low right-to-left cross to the cutting senior forward Peter Scardino who blasted the ball behind the crossbar to put Mason on the board. By the 12th minute junior midfielder Nick Wells found his way onto the stat sheet when he skipped a shot in front of the Rams’ keeper, who got a few fingers on it but couldn’t manage to keep it from sophomore midfielder Zorhan Boston who was waiting behind him and sank the empty-netter with ease.
Sophomore midfielder Cole Hellert was venturing from left-to-right at the top of the box when he did an about-face and fired a no-look grounder to the lower left corner for the Mustangs’ third goal in just 19 minutes of action. Some give and go action between Quill and Wells saw the latter’s touch pass trickle past a defender and tee up Quill’s rocket that zipped past Strasburg’s goalkeeper for goal number four, minutes later. Quill struck again in the 28th minute when a senior defender Tim Andrianarison’s pass rolled by a few bodies before finding Quill alone for another straightforward goal.
Before the first half was over, the Mustangs would sink four more shots on a penalty kick from senior midfielder Carlos Mercado and a shot from junior forward Detsl Antezana along with goals from Hellert and Quill to enter the break up 9-0. Sophomore midfielder Maddox Kong, Boston, Andrianarison and Scardino would score prior to the game being called off 20 minutes early.
All this offensive success raises valid concerns for the back line and a goalkeeper in senior Ethan Morse who’re often unchallenged during matches. But Spinello assures that the defense’s readiness is addressed in every practice just as rigorously as other aspects of the game.
“Our goalkeepers coach [Fernando] Seas does a great job of challenging these guys day-in and day-out, so they’ll be ready for whatever comes ahead,” Spinello added.
And for the team that generally hasn’t had to overcome or even deal with much adversity either on its way through the season, Spinello promises they’ll be prepared. While he’s sticking with the party-line of “one game at a time,” the Mustangs are eager to get a crack at Staunton-based Robert E. Lee High School, who ended their season and four-year title run in the regional opener last season.
But that will have to wait since tonight brings the Bull Run District championship game against the winner of the Clarke County High School/Central High School match.