With both teams looking to protect an undefeated Concorde District record, the Oakton High boys soccer team and the Robinson Rams maintained a scoreless game until the last 10 minutes.
The Rams' Ryan Harmouche scored the only goal of the game on a free kick with 7:49 left on the clock — a shot that slipped right above the hands of goalkeeper Logan Cropper. Caught off guard when the kick was made without the official's whistle to start the play, Cropper got a late jump on the shot.
Cropper had eight saves in the game.
The Cougars and Rams battled in the first half, with neither coming too close to scoring. The second half saw several close shots by the Cougars, all of which failed to land in the net.
The Cougars shot 0 for 12 in the 1-0 loss Thursday night.
"I think they were better at getting us to play their game than we were in getting them to play ours," Spitalny said. "We didn't play all that well tonight. We looked out of it. We didn't look focused."
Though neither the Cougars and Rams entered the game with a district loss, the Rams did tie Centreville earlier in the season. While the Rams stand in first place after Thursday, the Cougars share a 3-1 record with Herndon. The Cougars will need to defeat Westfield in the last district game of the regular season May 7 and hope Herndon can defeat Robinson in their matchup. Because the Cougars defeated the Hornets 4-3 earlier in the season, they would then seize first place.
"Our path to first place is just harder now, and a little out of our control," Spitalny said.