BENNINGTON — It's been over a week now since the Mount Anthony girls lacrosse team won the Division I state championship and the Patriots have been enjoying every minute soaking in their great accomplishment.
"It's has been really fun seeing the girls and the community being able to celebrate this huge accomplishment," said MAU coach Whitney Brooks. "Our team was dedicated from day one on working hard towards winning a state championship and it's great to see the girls get the recognition they deserve for what they accomplished."
MAU's championship victory marked the second state title in school history with the first coming back in 2010.
The 2016 season marked the first time MAU were crowned Marble Valley League champions in six year and first time in same time period that they defeated rival Burr and Burton too.
The Patriots even saw career milestones made when junior Emily Altland became the second player in school history to score over 200 goals in her career.
A championship season to remember, the Patriots will now focus on a repeating it in 2017 and there is no stretch of the imagination that they can do so.
Altland returns after a team-high 81 goal season and along side her, the Patriots have great scoring weapons to go around with Brianna Zipprich and a talented freshman class from 2016 led by Avery Galle, Natalie Jelley and Caroline Musinski.
Riley Mintrone returns as a nice offensive threat in the midfield for MAU and junior Alex Cross will also be a big key for the Patriots offense after her great game in the finals against Middlebury.
On defense, starting goalie Carly Plaisance returns while Haley Richmond and Samantha White both come back after turning out great performances in the Patriots championship.
"We have a good group of players returning next season and I think winning a championship will be a huge benefit for them and they will be more mature from it," Brooks said. "The girls returning now know what it takes to win a state championship and know that they have to be dedicated as a team to do so."
Brooks also added that "the girls know that not every high school athlete gets to experience a state championship like they did and that the girls coming back know they can't take anything for granted."
The focus may now be on next season, but the Patriots will never forget their championship season in 2016.
A season filled of fun and great accomplishment, the 2016 MAU girls lacrosse team will always be remembered as state champions.
"This was such a great season to be a part of and one that we all will never forget," Brooks said. "The girls created such a great bond with each other and that really helped make this season more special for us. Now we have to get back to working hard on improving our game this off season, so we can make it to finals again next season."