With a dominant 22-6 win over Robinson on Monday, the Oakton High girls lacrosse team secured at least a second-place spot on the Concorde District rankings heading into the district tournament.
The Cougars started scoring within 15 seconds of the game's start with a goal from Allison Turk on a pass from Carly Palmucci. Then the Cougars piled on 12 more goals — from Jackie Rupp (4), Carly Palmucci (3), Tori Anderson (2), Alex Revel (2), Allison Turk (1) and Danielle Palmucci (1). The Cougars held the Rams to three goals in the first half to enter halftime with a 13-3 advantage.
The Rams fought back to start the second half with two straight goals, but soon the Cougars reclaimed the momentum for a 9-1 scoring spree over the last 22 minutes of the game. Rupp scored three more goals to lead the game with seven total. Claire Stikeleather (2), Turk (1), Anderson (1), Carly Palmucci (1) and Nicole Banville (1) also netted goals in the second half for the 22-6 win.
With one district loss each, the Cougars and Westfield Bulldogs stood tied with the second best district record before Oakton's game Monday. If Westfield loses to Centreville on Wednesday, the Cougars will take sole possession of second in the rankings. If Centreville loses, there will be a three-way tie for first.
Heading into the Concorde District tournament, which starts Friday, the Cougars feel confident. Their one district loss was a earlier this month.
"I think in the beginning we had a rough start, but I think it was better that we ended on this type of note," senior Jackie Rupp said.
Rupp and Coach Jean Counts both said they feel the tight offense is a major strength for the Cougars as they look to earn their second straight Concorde District title.
"I think a strength of ours is definitely our fastbreaks because we have a lot of good attackers," Rupp said. "We have a lot of variety of players. We don't have just a couple good players. We have a whole starting lineup of great players."
Counts also noted the Cougars have been better able to direct the draw control, a key component to notching wins in lacrosse.
The girls will continue to work on becoming more cohesive before the start of the tournament, but Rupp thinks Monday's unexpected rout over Robinson is a sign that the Cougars are finally showing who they really are as a team.
"We can carry this out through the rest of the season," Rupp said. "Our players are finally trusting each other, and we just need to keep going with that in the playoffs and we'll be successful."