Oakton, making its inaugural appearance in the state tournament, handled the pressure of a late-game deficit and a penalty-kick tiebreaker like veterans and advanced to the Virginia AAA semifinals with a 2-1 victory over visiting Albemarle of Charlottesville.
The Northern Region champion Cougars (22-1-1) converted all of their penalty kicks for a 5-3 advantage after the teams played to a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes.
"I thought our effort was outstanding," said Oakton Coach T.J. White, who made only three substitutions during a tense, humid evening.
"[Albemarle] is the best team we've played against. We were fortunate in that game, but our guys never gave up. They're resilient."
That resiliency was put to the test when what had been a 60-minute stalemate appeared to break Oakton's way. Albemarle forward Chris Novak was ejected for a foul on Oakton defender Keith Nakai, but Albemarle scored the opening goal just a minute later through senior midfielder Corey Greiner.
Oakton's pressure paid off with six minutes left in regulation when All-Met midfielder Kenny Arena collected a header from Carlos Munoz and delivered a perfectly-placed, 25-yard shot.
Oakton advanced to Friday's semifinals in Norfolk against Midlothian, which defeated Cox, 2-0.
HYLTON 4, W.T. WOODSON 0: Hylton junior Jonathan Hooker scored three goals and set up another as the No. 1 Bulldogs marched into the Virginia AAA state semifinals in Woodbridge.
Hylton (19-1-1), the defending state champion, will play Kempsville, a 1-0 winner over Monocan, Friday at 6 p.m. at Old Dominion in Norfolk.
"We have a lot of seniors on this team and we are a close group," Hooker said. "Everyone wanted to go back to Old Dominion."
Bulldogs junior midfielder Tommy Giraldi set up Hooker's first two goals, which came in the 33rd and 47th minutes, respectively. Hooker's cross allowed junior Barry Suber to score in the 54th minute, and Hooker completed his hat trick less than two minutes later on a feed from senior Michael Gaige. Hooker has 16 goals in the past 13 games.
For the second straight season, Woodson (12-7-1) peaked at playoff time but was unable to get past Hylton, who defeated the Cavaliers, 3-0, in the state semifinals last spring.
Oakton (22-1-1) 0 1 1
Albemarle (13-5-2) 0 1 1
SHOOTOUT -- Oakton 5 (Nakai G, Arena G, Heitkamp G, Munoz G, Cummings G); Albemarle 3 (Greiner NG, Parolisi G, DiGiacomo G, Sanderford G).
GOALS -- Oakton Arena (74th minute); Albemarle (Greiner 61st).
ASSISTS -- Oakton Munoz; Albemarle Parolisi.
SHOTS -- O 24; A 7.
SAVES -- Oakton, Pregnall 3, Albemarle, Mayer-Aschoff 13.
CORNER KICKS -- O 10; A 4.
W.T. Woodson (12-7-1) 0 0 0
Hylton (19-1-1) 1 3 4
GOALS -- Hooker 33rd, 47th, 55th, Suber 54th.
ASSISTS -- Giraldi 2, Hooker, Gaige.
SHOTS -- H: 14; W: 9.
SAVES -- W: Siclari 5, Kent 3; H: Larrabee 4, Hensle 1.
Special correspondent Will Kuhns contributed to this report.