Chantilly was the No. 1 seed in the Concorde District boys’ lacrosse tournament.
They had the home field advantage. They were the defending district and Northern Region champions. They expected to make the Concorde's title game for the fifth consecutive year.
Oakton proved to be the unexpected — the better team, for at least one night.
Fifth-seeded Oakton (10-6) jumped out to an early in the first quarter, and put together a convincing 14-6 win in the Concorde semifinals on Tuesday.
"[Chantilly is] a very good team," said coach Grif Barhight, in his third season at Oakton's helm. "We were just able to capitalize on our opportunities tonight. This is a big win for us."
It was the Cougars' first victory against the Chargers (13-2) since 2008.
Kevin Broderick, Chantilly's veteran coach, summed things up succinctly.
"We didn't play very well,” he said. “That's it."
The tone of the hard-hitting postseason affair was set early as Oakton rang up four of the first five goals, utilizing ball movement to open shooting lanes.
Action settled down in the second quarter, and the Cougars led at halftime, 6-3.
Oakton emerged from intermission firing early and often at goalkeeper Patrick Meehan. Attacker Jack Harris and middie Evan Lalande took turns finding the net, and the Cougars quickly mounted an 11-4 advantage, which they carried into the final stanza.
"That was important. We'd led them at halftime before and we knew they were going to come out fast," Barhight said.
Chantilly co-captain Luke Bowers executed a turnaround shot to put one past Oakton goalie Connor Anderson, but the Cougars responded with three of the next four to finish off the top seed.
Harris finished with a game-high five goals and three assists. Lalande had four goals and three assists, while Michael Durst notched two goals and Stephen Lambrides scored one and assisted on two others.
"It was a good team win because a lot of guys contributed, and that's what you need to beat a great team like Chantilly," Barhight said.
The postseason will continue for both squads. Oakton will meet second-seeded Westfield to decide district champion before moving into the Northern Region tournament. Chantilly will await their regional assignment.
Both are assured of May 15 match-ups against Liberty District teams.
"That's a very good district," Barhight said. "That's the exciting thing about the Northern Region. It used to be just a few teams, but now there are several with a chance. Every game is important."