“We are a young team, and this showed that we can beat anybody,” senior midfielder Eion Oosterbaan said after his team beat arch-rival Clarke County by one on Friday.
Coming into the game, the Mustangs knew that they faced a challenge. Clarke is one of the top teams in the district this year, and they are known for their physical play.
“Clarke is always a physical team, so we came in knowing we had to match their physicality. We labeled this as a must-win game,” Oosterbaan said.
The game was fast-paced throughout, and the Mustangs gained a 1-0 lead early in the first half off of a goal by Oosterbaan, who was assisted by freshman midfielder Kavon Nowroozi. The score remained 1-0 until six minutes into the second half, when Oosterbaan added a second goal by hitting the top left upper-ninety from fifteen yards out.
Despite being down 2-0, Clarke kept the pressure on the Mustangs and made several pushes towards the goal. With thirteen minutes left, junior goalkeeper Sebastian Umerez made two crucial one-on-one saves to keep Clarke scoreless. Clarke finally got by Umerez with 1:36 left in the game by scoring off of a corner kick. However, there was too little time left and the Eagles ran out of time to add another goal.
Mason won by a final score of 2-1. After the game, the Mustang coaches told the young team how proud they were that every player stepped up when it mattered the most.
Oosterbaan stated that “a big win like this was crucial for our team at this point in the season. We played our best game when it counted.”The Mustangs are heating up as they head into the homestretch of the regular season. This win moved them to the top of the Bull Run District. They will have to play with the same intensity that they had on Friday when they take on district rival Manassas Park, who beat the Mustangs 3-2 in overtime in their first matchup, at home on Tuesday, May 1.
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