Even though it is not at full strength, Oakton has still started the season 3-0 and has thoughts of a deep postseason run this spring. Much of that is attributed to Spitalny’s ability to find and develop depth on a team that returns just four starters. The Cougars, who opened the season with convincing wins over South County, 3-1, and Washington-Lee, 4-1, followed by a 2-0 win against Madison, have found two talented forwards to power their attack in sophomore Armand Jeffris and junior Cameron Santoro. Jeffris has three goals in three games (including two against Washington-Lee) while Santoro had two goals in the win over South County.
“I think we’ve got certain opportunities that we’ve just taken, and we’ve worked hard to make those opportunities,” Jeffris said. “Not necessarily more mature or less mature, but we’re definitely giving it our best.”
Still, Oakton’s long-term durability is questionable even with Ollen, Zamorodi and McDaid all coming back from injuries. Spitalny hopes to have all three back in time for a road-trip to No. 2 Lake Braddock (2-0) on April 8, which could be the Cougars toughest test of the regular season. Lake Braddock has been impressive in its first two games, blowing out Chantilly 4-0 and rallying past Robinson 3-1 last week. It is one of three schools in the AAA Patriot District that has started the season undefeated, including West Potomac (3-0) and T.C. Williams (3-0), which has already beaten South Lakes (3-1) and Mount Vernon (0-1). W.T. Woodson (1-1) is also a heavyweight in the league, but was upset in the season opener by Centreville (1-1).
In the AA Dulles District, five teams remain unbeaten, including No. 7 Tuscarora (Va.) (3-0-1), Briar Woods (3-0), Loudoun County (2-0-1) and Park View (2-0-1). Tuscarora and Loudoun County fought to a 3-3 overtime tie in the season opener back on March 11, while Briar Woods and Park View have also earned overtime draws early this season.
“Our district is just very tough,” Briar Woods Coach Francois Bernard said. “One mistake, and you could find yourself, you know, losing quickly.”
Robinson turns over new leaf
Robinson soccer remains in a transition phase with first-year head coach Bobby Garza, who left Mount Vernon after last season to replace long-time coach Jac Cicala at the Fairfax school.