The Oakton High boys lacrosse team ended its regular season with a 10-3 victory over Lake Braddock on Wednesday, earning the graduating Cougars a win on Senior Night.
After honoring the team's 17 seniors in a pregame ceremony, the Cougars leapt to a 3-0 lead in the first six minutes of the game, with goals from Jack Harris, Sean Schweiker and Brian Oliver. The Bruins slowed down the Cougar offense, opening an opportunity for a goal of their own with three minutes left in the first quarter. The Cougars answered with an unassisted goal from Cory Harris about a minute later.
But the Bruins held the Cougars scoreless in the second quarter. With a strong defense of their own, the Cougars allowed only one goal in the 12 minutes, putting the scoreboard at 4-2 at halftime.
"They were running a very effective defense for most of the first half," Coach Grif Barhight said. "It took us some time to learn how to beat it, but we made the appropriate adjustments for the second half."
In the third quarter it was the Cougars' turn for a dominate defense, holding the Bruins scoreless while adding two more goals, one from Schweiker and the other from Evan Lalande.
The Bruins third and final goal in the fourth quarter was sandwiched by two Cougar goals in the first four minutes and two in the last four minutes, including senior Justin Hugel's first career goal for the final goal of the game. Jack Harris scored two goals and Cory Harris scored the other that quarter. Jack Harris led the team with three goals Thursday night.
Senior goalkeeper Connor Anderson made five saves for the Cougars.
"It feels good to get some of our confidence back right before the playoffs. We needed some momentum," Schweiker, a senior and three-year varsity player, said. "We really feel we have the talent to go far in the playoffs, we just need to get our confidence back."
Thirteen of the 17 seniors have played varsity for the Cougars since at least their sophomore year,
"We have a special bond. We're a real tight-knit group of kids," Schweiker said. "I love all these guys. We've been playing together for so long."
Barhight has a special gratitude for this class because most of their varsity careers at Oakton span the three years he has served as head coach.
"They're a great group of kids with wonderful families," Barhight said. "They made my transition into this position a lot easier over the last three years."
The Cougars ended the season in third place with a 3-2 record in the Concorde District standings. They will host Centreville at 7 p.m. Friday in the first round of the district tournament. The Cougars defeated Centreville 15-8 earlier this season.