Oakton senior attackman Matt Silton had three goals, senior midfielder Cody Grimm scored a pair in the fourth quarter and the Cougars' defense turned in a standout performance to key a 7-5 victory over host W.T. Woodson last night in the Virginia AAA Northern Region boys' lacrosse semifinals.
With the victory, the two-time defending Northern Region champion Cougars advanced to the region final for the fourth consecutive season. Eighth-ranked Oakton (12-4) will face No. 7 Langley on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Woodson with a chance to become the first team to win three consecutive Northern Region titles.
"It definitely would mean a lot to us, since nobody else has done it," Grimm said. "We've been working for this since last year."
Sixth-ranked W.T. Woodson (15-2), which entered last night's contest on a 13-game winning streak, never led but cut Oakton's lead to one goal twice in the fourth quarter. But both times Grimm answered with goals.
VanOpstal Saves Langley
Langley senior goalkeeper Teddy VanOpstal made five of his 10 saves in the fourth quarter of last night's first Northern Region boys' semifinal at W.T. Woodson to help the Saxons survive a late onslaught of shots by Westfield and escape with an 8-7 victory.
VanOpstal stepped out of the crease to intercept a pass intended for an unguarded Westfield player with eight seconds to play, and then, after a turnover, watched the Bulldogs' 12th shot of the quarter miss wide as time expired.
"That kid, he's got such a big heart," Langley Coach Earl Brewer said. "He let a couple in in the beginning I thought he should have had. But he's going to make the big save, and he did."
The seventh-ranked Saxons (15-2) made the region final for the first time since 1998, even after turning over the ball on their first seven possessions and falling behind 3-0. But Seth Blaustein, Robbie Maclay and Robert Lee scored two goals apiece to rally the Saxons. Alex Callihan had three goals and an assist to lead Westfield (9-7).
W.T. Woodson Advances
W.T. Woodson senior Ashley McCulloch scored six goals as the Cavaliers defeated Lake Braddock, 12-9, in the Northern Region girls' semifinals at Oakton.
McCulloch's three goals in the second half helped break open a game in which there were four lead changes. Lindsay Hixson, Mia Naccarato and Meredith Martin added two goals apiece, sending the defending region and state champion Cavaliers (14-1) into Saturday's final against Oakton.
"I think we realized that if we didn't come out strong in the second half," McCulloch said, "it could be the end of our season.
"We've been working hard for this all season and we just had to go out there and get it."
The Cavaliers led, 5-3, late in the first half, but their lead was quickly erased on goals by the Bruins' Heather Klein, Alex West and Elaine Kelch. Four players finished with two goals for Lake Braddock (13-4).
Cable Carries the Cougars
Senior Christina Cable scored a career-high eight goals and Kate Streckfuss dished out three assists to lead Oakton past Annandale, 13-3, in the other Northern Region girls' semifinal at Oakton.
For Cable, it was a matter of redemption. She had scored two early goals against Robinson in the quarterfinals before she was issued two yellow cards and ejected from the game. Cable played with a sense of urgency yesterday, scoring five of Oakton's first six goals as the Cougars (15-3) took a 9-1 lead into halftime.
"I just thank every one of my teammates for helping me get here every day to have another day on the field," Cable said, "another game and another shot at the title."
Megan Berry, Natalie Gilbert and Molly Sterlacci each scored for Annandale (13-7).