Looking to unseat the reigning Concorde District Champions, the girls lacrosse team aimed for a similar early dominance they had over the the first time they met up this season.
But the second time around, it was the Cougars who jumped to an early lead, and the Wildcats never found a way to mount a comeback. The Wildcats fell short of the Concorde District title in a 14-7 loss on Friday.
"Oakton consistently every year gets better as the year goes on. We prepared to play a new team. We knew they would come out hard, prepared and better," Assistant Coach Christina Griel said. "We just made some mistakes today that were detrimental."
The Cougars tallied the first goal, which the Wildcats answered with a goal from Maggie Dulkerian on an assist from . When the Cougars again scored to pull ahead, Carly Sane took an assist from Caroline Wakefield to the net to again tie with 17:53 left in the first half. But that would be the Wildcats' last goal of the half, as the Cougars went on a 6-0 scoring spree.
Starting the second half strong, the Wildcats won the first draw with Wakefield scoring within two minutes. But it did not slow the Cougars' momentum, who scored three goals in a row over the next four minutes.
Katherine Zempolich tossed in a goal with about 15 minutes left, which the Cougars answered. Then Reagan Newell scored three goals, one on an assist from Wakefield, but even her three-goal spree was interrupted by a Cougar goal to put the Wildcats down 13-7 with about five minutes left in the game. The Cougars added one more goal to put the final score at 14-7.
"Today we just didn't do the little things right. Groundballs, dropping passes, executing, so we'll be going back to the basics," Griel said.
The loss does not end the Wildcats season, as they will continue in the Northern Region Tournament. They will host Marshall at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the first round.
"We're a young team, so we're going to work on making sure they're mentally prepared to play in big games like this," Griel said. "I'm very confident they'll bounce back from this. They've proven to do that all season, and they've shocked me all season. I'm very proud of them. They've made big improvements and developed so well since the beginning of the year."