While Memorial Day is a time for a grand parade down Falls Church's Broad Street, the George Mason High School varsity girls soccer team held their own celebration on Monday, blanking Riverheads High School, 3-0, in the opening round of the Region B tournament on the Mustangs' turf.
Mason controlled the ball for virtually the entire match, as junior Nicole Mitchell, in her first season in the net for the Mustangs, touched the ball three times in the game.
The relentless Mason attack wore down the Riverheads defense. Mason consistently found open shots, but was not able to find the back of the net until just before the break. Just over a minute after the Riverheads' goalkeeper made a diving save off a shot by junior forward/midfielder Karen Hamill, freshman Leah Roth got Mason on the board with a close-range goal from the center of the field.
Into the second half, the Mustangs quickly maneuvered the ball down the right side of the field before senior Mayssa Chehata set up tri-captain Kim Kenny in the box. Kenny went right down the middle with the shot, rocketing the ball between the keeper's legs for the insurance goal.
"At halftime we had a good long talk about staying intense and I think they took that to heart," Mason Coach Jennifer Parsons said. "As for the [Riverheads] goalie, I'm not sure if she was ready because it just kind of went through her legs. We'll take it though."
With 13:28 left in the game, sophomore midfielder Camille Darling broke open the match, netting the Mustangs' third and final goal of the evening. After a flurry of passes and deflections from down in front of the goal, Darling set up on the left side, received a pass from senior Virginia Fresne and sent the ball past the keeper.
After making just one save in the first half, Mitchell would only have to make two in the second half during a brief offensive threat by the Gladiators.
"Even though I am fortunately not tested often, I don't find it difficult at all to stay focused during games," Mitchell said.
With the win, the Mustangs extend their season winning streak to 11 games and remained undefeated against single A opponents this year.
Reprinted here with permission from the Falls Church News Press