The five-hour bus ride to this southwestern Virginia city for the state tournament has become a tradition for the George Mason girls' soccer team.
For the third consecutive year since the state sanctioned a Group A tournament, the Falls Church school qualified for the long trip to Radford, and for the third straight year the Mustangs will play in the championship match after a 3-1 win over Glenvar in the semifinal Friday at Radford University.
"It's a lot of fun," senior Becky Roa said. "We watch movies, play games, listen to music -- it's a great bonding trip."
Roa had a goal for the Mustangs, who will play Bull Run District rival Clarke County Saturday at 1 p.m. Freshman Roxanne Sweeney and junior Katie Gordon added goals for George Mason, which lost to Brentsville in last year's state final.
The Mustangs (9-5-1) dominated nearly the entire game, not allowing a shot on goal during the game's first 49 minutes. They attempted 11 shots before finally scoring on a long, well-placed shot by Sweeney in the 24th minute. Roa scored off a good pass from sophomore Jessica Porzel in the 33rd minute, and Gordon rebounded a missed shot and scored in the 39th minute to give the Mustangs a 3-0 lead at halftime.
"If you generate good opportunities . . . eventually you're going to score," George Mason Coach Clifford Carroll said. "We finished with three good goals."
Clarke County advanced with a 3-1 win over Radford, with freshman Leslie Hardesty scoring two goals. Although Clarke County (14-1) outshot Radford 12-1, the game was tied at 1 in the 51sth minute when Meg Khandan-Barani scored for Radford.
Clarke County's Taylor Werner put her team back ahead five minutes later, collecting a loose ball in front of the goal and putting it in the net.
Hardesty had scored off a rebound from the goalkeeper in the seventh minute, and added a goal off a cross from Jill Hobbs in the 66th.
Clarke County won three straight against George Mason earlier this season by a combined 12-3, but the Mustangs topped the Eagles in the Region B final, 4-3.