BENNINGTON — With four of their starters out with injuries, including two of their top goal scorers in Emily Altland and Emma Arlotta, the Mount Anthony girls soccer team needed a player to step up to help them get out of their recent slump.
The player that has taken that star role for MAU has been sophomore Cat Worthington, who after being a key player in the team's win against Fair Haven, made an even bigger impact with scoring two goals in Patriots' 2-1 win over Brattleboro on Thursday night.
Worthington got the game's scoring going in the first half, receiving a great pass from teammate Ally White in the Colonels' box and then after faking out the Brattleboro goalkeeper, slapped a shot into the net to give MAU a 1-0 lead with just under seven minutes left in the first half.
"I just hustled to the ball and found a way to push it in," Worthington said. "I try to use my speed to my advantage to maneuver past defenders and chase down loose balls. That's my game and that helps me get scoring chases."
The Patriots held on to a 1-0 lead going into halftime.
Through the early stages of the second half, the MAU offense went on the attack to try to extend their lead, but couldn't find their mark of their scoring chases from Worthington smacking a shot right at the Brattleboro goalkeeper for an easy save to Maddisyn Kinney's shot rolling just wide of the net to keep it still a 1-0 affair.
With 15 minutes remaining in the contest, Worthington looked to have earned a penalty shot when she was fouled on a breakaway attempt, but the referee did blow the whistle and the Colonels caught a huge break.
Worthington, though, made up for the missed called just two minutes later, when a clear by teammate Caroline Musinski was misjudged by both a Brattleboro defender and the Colonels' goalkeeper, allowing Worhtington to pick up the loose ball and rocket it in for her second goal of the contest to extend the Patriots' lead to two.
"Cat is all guts and hustle," said MAU coach Mark Boudreau. "She just plays a different speed than most do and has a great desire to help her team win."
The Patriots' two-goal lead didn't last for long, though, as Brattleboro got on the board moments later when Gabrielle Carpenter headed in Hailey Derosia's corner kick, cutting the MAU lead back to one.
"I just looked up at the clock after they scored that goal and said there is too much time left on the clock for them to come back," Boudreau said. "Brattleboro was hurting us on corner kicks all night and I was just hoping the girls could find a way to seal the game."
Fear not for Boudreau, his team had his back as the Patriots were able to hold off Brattleboro for the rest of the contest and hold on to a 2-1 victory, improving to 6-5 on the season.
Erika McCarthy recorded five saves in net for the Patriots in the win.
"That was as clean of a game that we have played all season," Boudreau said on the win. "We controlled the pace of the game and really started to find a rhythm out there on offense. All the girls played really well tonight."
After the Thursday night's win over Brattleboro, the Patriots have just three more games to play in the regular season.
The first of those three will be Saturday, when the Patriots host Hoosick Falls at 12 p.m.