Kristin Girouard was in the right place at the right time for Oakton last night, scoring the winning goal to give the Cougars a 2-1 victory over No. 7 Westfield and their second straight Virginia AAA Concorde District field hockey title.
A free hit from senior defender Katie Moran found its way onto Girouard's stick at the right post and she deflected it high and past Westfield's goalkeeper with 9 minutes 30 seconds left in the game.
"Just basically every time I'm on the post, I'm looking for a ball from Katie Mo," said Girouard, a junior midfielder. "I knew it was going to be in my power tonight. I knew it was the right moment."
Last night, Moran's pass couldn't have reached a better finisher. Girouard displayed strong stick work throughout for the Cougars (11-3), helping them control the ball for the majority of the game. Oakton was the tournament's top seed, but the game was played at Westfield.
"She's our best possession player," Oakton Coach Lizzie McManus said of Girouard. "We teach a lot of possession hockey at Oakton and Kristin gets it right all the time."
Moran, the Concorde District player of the year, had a characteristically stellar performance. In addition to the game-winning assist, she rocketed home the game's first goal into the lower left corner with seven minutes left in the first half.
Moran and the Cougars have proven to be a thorn in the side of the Bulldogs (17-2). Oakton has scored five goals in handing Westfield its only two losses of the season, and Moran has had a hand in four of those goals.
Westfield played noticeably better last night than in a 3-1 defeat in late September, and the Bulldogs appeared to shift the game in their favor when sophomore midfielder Kelli Arduini scored off a rebound with 13 minutes to go to tie the score at 1.
But Oakton kept its cool and maintained its pressure in Westfield's zone, culminating in Moran's free hit four minutes later.
"We had the momentum," Westfield Coach Terri Towle said. "We had the energy, but the second goal left us a little flat. And that's what wound up costing us."