In last year’s All-Met section of the Washington Post, 2016 senior captain of the GMHS varsity boys soccer team, Grant Goodwin, was credited for his role in Mason’s four consecutive state championship titles. “Without Goodwin,” the Post wrote, “George Mason’s 2A supremacy would come apart at the seams.”
Last year’s senior defender/midfielder, Corinne Carson, appeared on the All-CAC Women’s Soccer First Team and the VaSID All-State College Division Women’s Soccer Team as a freshman defender at University of Mary Washington.
Both Mason soccer teams graduated a combined 11 players last year with lengthy and impressive athletic resumes.
Luckily, both teams have high achieving incoming seniors. On the boys end, returning senior captains Nico Ferrara and Wesley Quill are strong leaders alongside forward Olo Sembara and goalkeeper Walker Hegadorn.
“We lost a lot of seniors, but our whole defense is intact and we have two returning offensive starters; me and Olo,” Ferrara said. “We have young guys who played significant minutes last year, and we won’t score eight goals a game this year but this team has been together for a long time so we have experience.”
Each consecutive title adds surmounting pressure on the incoming team, and breaking the streak on the eve of a tenth title is simply not an option for the girls.
“There’s pressure every single year just to maintain the legacy. I’m feeling more pressure this year because it’s double digits and it’s my senior year,” said senior forward and USF commit, Becca Crouch. “I just think that if we work on playing as a team, we’ll be fine.”
All girls eligible to tryout for both varsity and JV teams are able to attend the preseason practices on the track Mondays and Wednesdays after school. The boys team has been focusing on fitness and possession in their preseason practices.
“We’re trying to get fitness in before actual preseason, which is designated by the school,” said senior goalkeeper Walker Hegadorn. “I have high expectations and I believe we have the capability of going to States again.”
Mason’s reputation as the dominating soccer presence in the District has been solidified by each team’s respective state title streaks.
“I think all of the district teams respect us and know that even when we lose people, we’re always going to come back and have a really good season,” said Athletic Director, Julie Bravin. “Throughout the years, competition fluctuates and every year, our teams and coaches go in prepared and I think that’s why we’re always very successful…we never take anything for granted.”
Spring tryouts begin February 20, when schools are closed for President’s Day. Boys varsity have their first home game on March 7 at 7:30 pm and girls varsity begin their season away at Yorktown on March 2.