All but one senior chose a similar triumph, and while Oakton needed no added motivation for a matchup with the team directly ahead of it in the AAA Concorde District standings, a final reminder didn’t hurt.
With precise shooting and domination in the center circle, the Cougars raced to a commanding lead and never looked back, spoiling senior night with a 17-12 victory.
“It was hard not to laugh while we were standing there,” Oakton senior Carly Palmucci said. “Last year they beat us in the regular season, but we beat them in the tournament when it mattered. So hearing that pumped us up and we came out strong.”
Oakton senior Jackie Rupp began the offensive barrage barely two minutes into the contest, beating her defender with a dodge and firing home the opening goal from six yards out.
After a Westfield re-start, Oakton senior Palmucci leapt in front of Colby Kildwell, forcing a turnover and resuming the Cougars’ offensive onslaught. Seniors Alex Revel and Kelsey Clarke scored a pair of eight-meter goals in quick succession to give the Cougars (8-2, 3-1 AAA Concorde) a 3-0 lead while Westfield’s attackers could only watch from midfield.
After the teams traded goals twice, Westfield sophomore Molly O’Sullivan’s wrap-around goal with just under 16 minutes left in the half pulled the host Bulldogs (10-2, 3-1) to within 5-3, but that was as close as they would get.
Revel and Tori Anderson scored twice each over a three-minute span and a late two-goal flurry from Palmucci gave Cougars a 12-6 lead after an opening half in which all but four of their shots resulted in goals or saves. Meghan Heick scored three of her team-high five goals in the second half to close the gap late but the deficit proved too great.
Rupp, Clarke and Revel each scored four goals and Palmucci added three goals and two assists as the Cougars moved into a second-place tie with the Bulldogs in the district standings. The Cougars have now won four straight since a jarring one-goal loss to first-place Centreville on April 13.
“For the past two weeks, all we’ve been thinking about is that [Centreville] game and that’s been tough for us mentally,” Rupp said. “It feels like we’ve been playing with a lot of weight on us, and we finally released it. Tonight we showed we’ve moved on.”