Cross is the boss: Mount Anthony senior scores 200th career goal in rout of Woodstock
BENNINGTON -- Mount Anthony Union High School senior attacker Emily Cross came into Friday's game against Woodstock with 198 career goals -- and there was no amount of defense or double-teams that would deny her from reaching the milestone.
Cross scored her 200th -- the first Patriot to reach that number -- on a free position shot with six minutes left in the first half, part of the Patriots' 18-7 rout of the Wasps.
"It's taken a lot of hard work and dedication," said Cross, who finished the day with 203 for her career. "I play wall ball every day, I play in the off-season, but I couldn't do it without my teammates, I love them with all my heart."
Cross wanted to get the record right away, taking the opening draw hard to the net for the initial score on the day, for goal 199.
Woodstock then put a double-team on Cross, trying to slow the senior. She was stuck on 199 for a bit, but found her teammates for scores at the same time -- including tallies from Courtney Gabrus and Brianna Zipprich to make it 4-1 with 13:22 left in the first half.
Annie Arthur pulled the Wasps within one in the next three minutes, scoring back-to-back to make it 4-3. Arthur had five of the eight Woodstock scores.
About five minutes later, Cross maneuvered through the Wasps defense, getting stopped just outside the crease. A foul was called, giving Cross the free shot. Calmly, she put it past Megan Dalton for 200.
"Emily is such a strong player, she takes her shots and gets the ball rolling for us," said MAU coach Tom Otero. "To [reach 200 goals], especially in Division I, against quality competition, is a big deal."
Taylor Palmer added a score with 5:50 left to make it 6-3 and Cross immediately came back a moment later with her third goal on the day and 201 for her career.
Cross' goal was the start of 10 straight scored by Mount Anthony.
Three Mount Anthony scores came in the final two minutes of the first half -- one each from Zipprich, Alexis Wright and Erica Hale -- to take a 10-4 lead into intermission. Nine different players scored for the Patriots.
"It didn't matter who scored, our attack was on and the defense was tight," Otero said. "The transition was tremendous."
At the same time, Woodstock couldn't score for 21 minutes between the first and second half.
"Woodstock is a quality team, they can score a lot in a short time," Otero said. "But we were aggressive -- Sam Cross had a great game [on defense]. Girls that usually move the ball couldn't [for Woodstock] and they were getting frustrated."
MAU started the second half as quickly as the first, with Zipprich scoring her third of the day three minutes in, which was followed up by goals from Gabrus and Annie Peck 12 seconds apart to make it 13-4.
Then Cross struck again with 19:32 left to put it away.
Other scorers for Mount Anthony were Meghan Bishop and Kristin Andrews. Cross had five to lead MAU, while Zipprich had three and Hale and Palmer added a pair each.
"Erica is a very intense player, she makes things happen no matter what," Otero said. "Courtney, this is her first full year after some injuries and she has tremendous stick skills, she's been outstanding. And Taylor came off the bench for her two goals.
"If you can get ground balls, draw controls and make clears, you will win most games," Otero said.
For today, the focus was on Cross, one of only a handful in Vermont girls lacrosse history to score 200 goals.
"My team always pushes me to do better, and my awesome coach OT," Cross said. "He makes me better and knows when to push my buttons."
MAU is 8-3 on the year and faces Hartford next.
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