By Brad Fauber - firstname.lastname@example.org
WOODSTOCK -- Visiting George Mason scored early and often against host Central, thumping the Falcons 8-0 in Bull Run District girls soccer action on Tuesday.
The Mustangs, winners of the last four Group A state championships dating back to 2008, struck in the opening minutes of action and took a 6-0 into halftime. George Mason's final goal came with about 10 minutes to play, and the game was called due to the mercy rule.
Tuesday's outcome was a far cry from the Mustangs' 2-0 victory over the Falcons at George Mason on March 27.
"The last time we played them, we had trouble connecting passes and moving the ball quickly, so we were just trying to play fast soccer. I think we did that really well," said Mustangs coach Jennifer Parsons. "We've been creating a lot of chances in our games lately, but not necessarily finishing them -- so we've been working on that, too, and I think it showed."
George Mason (7-3, 7-1 Bull Run) scored in the third minute of the contest when freshman Ava Roth connected from five yards away on a Mustangs corner kick, and things just spiraled downward for the Falcons (3-6-1, 1-6-1).
Mustangs sophomore Camille Rice added back-to-back goals in a three-minute span to extend the lead to 3-0 in the 12th minute, and senior Leah Roth finished a beautiful cross pass from Ava Roth with a five-yard goal to make the score 4-0 in the 17th minute.
"That's always our goal, to score within the first five minutes," Parsons said. "I think it takes a lot of the pressure and anxiety off, and lets you settle in and take control of [the game] more."
George Mason struck again in the 33rd minute when sophomore Claire Trevisan gathered a cross pass that deflected off a Central defender at the top of the penalty area and sent the ball into the back of the net.
Trevisan tallied another goal in the 39th minute to give the Mustangs a 6-0 halftime lead.
With George Mason seemingly shooting at will, the Falcons mustered very little success moving the ball down the field against a stiff Mustangs defensive line. Central managed just three shots on goal for the night, while the Mustangs tallied 26 in all.
"Our defense has been a little inconsistent, especially coming off the Clarke game (April 20) where Clarke played a very direct, fast-paced game," Parsons said. "I think [we] needed to get our confidence back, and keeping the ball and that sort of thing."
George Mason peppered the goal through the opening minutes of the second half before finding the back of the net in the 55th minute on Leah Roth's second goal of the match.
Junior Maggie Mascarenhas put the finishing touches on the victory with her 15-yard goal late in the second half to end the match via mercy rule with 13 minutes remaining.
"Their technical ability is so much better than ours, and they have a couple more [speedy] players than us," said Falcons coach Hap Kwiatkowski. "Our marking was poor in the first half. The second half we stepped it up -- we only let one goal in that first 26 minutes, and they did marks a lot better, they were talking.
"They're learning -- it's a really young team I have."