MAU holds off Wasps to complete homestand sweep
BENNINGTON — Things have been clicking the past couple of games for the Mount Anthony girls lacrosse team.
Beating Wahconah and Hartford earlier this week, the Patriots capped their third straight win on Wednesday, defeating Woodstock 11-9.
As MAU hung on to a one-goal lead with under 10 minutes to play, Brianna Zipprich sealed the victory for the Patriots, first scoring on a free position shot with nine minutes left and then scoring on a nice pass from Emily Altland for her third goal of the day with five minutes to go to give MAU a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
"I had a tough first half and I knew I just had to let that go and play my game in the second half," Zipprich said. "I kept staying positive and I was happy that was able to come out in the second half and help the team win."
Down a goal early, MAU got their scoring mojo going from Altland.
The junior got the Patriots on the board and then after teammate Annie Peck scored to give the Patriots the lead, Altland tallied off a nice pass from teammate Natalie Jelley, floating a shot over the goalie's head to make it a two-score game.
After the Wasps scored to cut the Patriots lead back to one, Altland once again answered back for MAU, this time recording the hat trick with her third goal of the half to bring the lead back up to two.
Leading 4-3 with under three minutes to play in the half, it looked like MAU was on its way to the lead at the break, but all that changed when Lauren Kaija became a force.
The senior scored her third goal of the half to tie the game up with two minutes to play and then teammate Nikki Sweeny ran down the field untouched and ripped a shot into the net to give the Wasps a two-goal lead.
Altland's fourth with seconds left in the period made it 6-5 Woodstock at the half.
"Going into the game we knew (Kaija) was a very good scorer and we put our best defender, Claire Taub, to slow her down, but unfortunately towards the net of the half she was able to get some space and get looks at the goals," said MAU coach Whitney Brooks.
Right away, Zipprich scored her first to make it 6-6 and immediately afterward, Bridget Ahearn won the faceoff and raced down the field, firing one into the bottom corner and giving MAU the lead back three minutes into the second half.
"We had troubles controlling the draws in the second half, so being able to win some faceoffs early in the second half got us into a good rhythm," Ahearn said. "Once we started getting into a rhythm, it allowed to move the ball more in transition and that created some open shots for us, allowing to get the momentum back on our side."
Ahearn scored two goals in the win for MAU, while goalie Carly Plaisance had nine saves in net, giving up only three scores in the second half.
Kaija scored a game-high seven goals in a losing effort for Woodstock.
"The girls really pushed it in the second half and it was great to see us comeback after losing the lead at the end of the first half," Brooks said. "I was happy to see us play better on both offense and defense in the second half. We just have to keep continuing to progress as a team and we will be where we want to be come playoff time."
With the win, MAU improves to 4-1 on the season and they play again today, against Pittsfield at 5:45 p.m.
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