MAU still unbeaten after topping Bulldogs

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BENNINGTON — The Mount Anthony girls lacrosse team has been at its offensive best this season, scoring at least 13 goals in each game so far. That trend continued on Wednesday as the Patriots beat Burr and Burton 15-5 at the Vets Home Field.

"Coming in we knew we'd have to push hard, [BBA has] played northern teams, and doing that [makes you] better and [gives you] more experience, we knew they were going to push us," said MAU coach Whitney Brooks.

Emily Altland and Bri Zipprich tied for the team lead with four goals apiece, Avery Galle and Natalie Jelley each had three and Alex Cross had one.

For Burr and Burton, Lydia Morgantini had two goals, while Jessie Forstmann and Shayla Heekin have one goal apiece.

Four different players scored for the Patriots as they took a 4-0 lead in the first 20 minutes. Galle scored first, with Altland close behind after a stop on defense at the other end.

After a BBA penalty, Natalie Jelley scored the first of her three goals and a few minutes later, Zipprich tallied to make it 4-0.

"We were jumbled up in the beginning, weakest at the start," Brooks said. "But once we settled in, found their confidence, we were doing all the little things, passing and catching, looking for the perfect shot."

Heekin scored to stop the drought but the Patriots picked up again right after that with four more goals — two from Jelley, and singles from Altland and Cross.

"It comes down to emphasizing the fundamentals, catching, throwing, passing," said BBA coach Jen Brenner. "When you execute that, things come better."

Morgantini made it 8-2 after a free position goal, but another Galle tally on a free position with 1:14 left in the half gave MAU a 9-3 lead at the break.

MAU put the game away in the opening minutes of the second half with five unanswered scores — two from Altland, two from Zipprich and one from Galle to put the game into running time.

"Sometimes you have to change things up, their goalie was stopping all our high shots and it was a challenge to change it," Brenner said.

The defense was stout for Mount Anthony, holding BBA under 20 shots total.

"We've worked really hard on defense and it's about communicating and being quick on your feet," Brooks said. "They talk, they mesh well and know where the ball is at all times. They know to collapse down if someone is heading toward the goal."

Carly Plaisance earned the victory, making nine saves. Plaisance missed five games earlier this season with injury and being away on a school trip, but has come back without missing a beat between the pipes for MAU.

"Carly is our saving grace back there," Brooks said. "She had a lot of saves today and her clears were amazing. She's loud and all of the communication starts with the goalie. She gets it and the defense relies on her."

Burr and Burton goaltender Cassie Pearce made nine saves as well while getting peppered by the MAU offense.

"Every game she gets better and we're proud of her," Brenner said.

MAU improves to 8-0, and faces Wahconah on Friday. Burr and Burton drops to 2-9 and plays at Woodstock on Saturday at 11 a.m.

"There's still a lot of motivation from the seniors and captains, they do a lot of team things together and that goes a long way," Brenner said. "It's important to keep the team together."


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