Mustangs shut out Central

WOODSTOCK — George Mason’s girls soccer team has won seven straight state titles and on Wednesday night it looked like the Mustangs might have a good possibility for No. 8 this season.

The Mustangs routed Central, 8-0, in a match that was called with 20 minutes remaining in regulation due to the mercy rule.

“We lost a core of our team to some other sports and it’s showing early as we go through some of these tougher opponents,” Central’s first-year varsity coach Kim Dellinger said.

Dellinger is reorganizing the Falcons’ defense from a year ago, but Wednesday it was no match for the Mustangs, who returned three-time first-team All-State performer Ava Roth, a senior who has been on a trio of those state champ teams.

Roth went for the hat trick Wednesday, scoring three goals on as many tries. Corinne Carson, a junior and returning All-Bull Run District first-team performer, added two goals on five shot attempts and another All-Bull Run District first teamer, Rebecca Crouch, made six shots on goal, coming through with one score.

Those three, among eight returning starters, helped lead an offense which accounted for 25 shots on goal, with almost a third of them made. Central, meanwhile, attempted just three shots on goal and was shut out.

“Well, I really like our coach. He’s changing some things on defense this season, and it’s taken us a while to work it out,” said junior Falcons goalkeeper Vanessa Wheeler, who stopped seven George Mason shots in the first half.

“In the first half, I really thought we played pretty good defense,” Dellinger said.

“We just need to stick with our [opponent] a little tighter for a little longer,” Central freshman Lauren Cook said. “But we’re getting better at it.”

Dellinger has replaced a back line of four Falcons from a year ago with a diamond formation.

“We were sneaking another player to midfield against a good team like George Mason,” Dellinger said.

But Wednesday the powerful Mustangs (3-0, 3-0) scored three times in the first half and then made five goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half.

Unfortunately for the Falcons (0-3, 0-3), the Mustangs had just edged fellow Bull Run competitor Clarke County, 2-1, Tuesday night in Berryville. And so, George Mason coach Jennifer Parson was leaning on her team a little harder.

“There were some things we wanted to clean up. We weren’t satisfied with the way we played [at Clarke], so we wanted to come out here and set things straight quickly,” Parsons said.

George Mason freshman Victoria Rund attempted three shots on goal; freshman Isabella Armstrong plied two shots on goal, scoring once; junior Amie Washa attempted two shots on goal without luck and junior Caroline Stricker attempt one shot on goal without creasing the net.

George Mason arrived in Woodstock with three seniors and nine juniors. Central countered with five seniors and two juniors.

“It’s a tough way to start for us,” Dellinger said.

His team has lost to Bull Run District foe William Monroe, which was 3-0 as of Wednesday night; Warren County and George Mason. It will take on Clarke County in the near future.

“I think we’re going to be OK. It just takes time,” Dellinger said.