The Washington Post

George Mason wins Virginia A soccer title

The George Mason girls celebrate their victory over Clarke in Radford, Va. (TRACY A. WOODWARD/THE WASHINGTON POST)

Much about the past four springs, including Saturday, has been the same for the George Mason girls’ soccer team. The Mustangs leave Falls Church at the same time (Thursday morning) for the Virginia A state tournament here, stay at the same hotel (La Quinta), grab lunch on the way down at the same place (a Sheetz gas station) and leave at the same time (Saturday afternoon).

“We have a routine,” said senior midfielder Violet Miller.

On Saturday, everything finished as planned and much like it had before. Behind a quick-fire offense and a solid defensive effort, the Mustangs claimed their fourth straight state title with a 2-0 win over Clarke County. George Mason and No. 5 Broad Run, which also won Saturday, became the first schools in Virginia history to win four consecutive girls’ soccer titles.

For senior Hannah Walker, winning championships hasn’t gotten old — and in fact, this final trophy carried a little more weight.

“Especially as a senior where everything completely changes and this is my last game,” she said. “So definitely coming into the state tournament everything was new, because I was looking at it at a different angle.”

In the final, George Mason (20-4) faced a familiar foe in Clarke County (17-6-1), a team the Mustangs had already defeated four times this season. And with Saturday’s win, three of those five George Mason victories were for titles: the Bull Run District crown, Region B championship and A state title.

Junior forward Leah Roth opened the scoring early in the first half with her 43rd goal of the season, a nifty dribble past a Clarke County defender and shot into the top left corner.

After an hour-plus lightning delay in the first half, Miller collected a loose ball near the Clarke County net and fired it home for a 2-0 lead. Then, behind a solid back line, the Mustangs withstood a Clarke County attack in the second half.

“The other titles matter just as much, but this year, no one has ever done four in a row,” Miller said. “It was our last mark on the school and the program, and just to keep it going for next year and for everyone.”

And after the trophy presentation and boarding the bus, the Mustangs planned on making a meal fast-food pitstop at Sonic on the way home. And, as always, they will soon have a team-wide party to celebrate the win.

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010, wrote about high school sports across the region for two years and has covered the Nationals since the middle of the 2012 season.



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