From A to Z, Patriots offense rolls through top seniors

BENNINGTON — After last year's state championship, the second in the team's history, the Mount Anthony girls lacrosse team have had no hangover, rolling in high gear out to a perfect 10-0 start.

They've outscored their opponents 176-58 in the process and the source behind much of the Patriots' high-scoring offense has been the senior attack duo of Emily Altland and Brianna Zipprich.

The two friends have combined for 88 goals this season, while both setting individual milestones throughout the first 10 games.

"We have been playing lacrosse together for many years and we have developed a great chemistry together," Zipprich said. "We both play on the same travel league in the offseason and that has really helped us work well together. Both of us work really hard all year round to get better. It's awesome to be able to achieve great things with friends by your side."

Zipprich is the Patriots' leading scorer so far, having scored a total of 46 goals and 12 assists on the season.

Altland follows closely behind with 42 goals and leads the team in assists with 43.

Many of Altland's assists have come on a goal scored by her partner in crime, the most memorable coming on Zipprich's 100th career goal in the Patriots' win over Pittsfield. In their most recent matchup against Mount Greylock, the two got together for a score four times.

Altland praised Zipprich's ability to catch tough passes while cutting to the net as a big reason for the duo's success.

"We understand [what each person does] on each others plays and that has allowed us to work well together on the field," Altland said. "Brianna is really good at catching those tough passes when breaking free from her defender and going towards the net, so when I see that, I know I can needle a pass in there for her. It's really important to be able to do that because it can lead to a lot of goals."

Zipprich was right beside Altland when the senior notched her record-setting 223rd career goal against Hoosick Falls. Altland currently sits at 254 goals and has set the program's single game assist record with eight.

The senior has also collected the program's points record for both a single game and a career this season.

All of these stats and accomplishments aside, the biggest thing about the pair is their leadership on and off the field.

"Both Brianna and Emily are such great leaders and the girls on the team look up to them," said MAU girls lacrosse coach Whitney Brooks. "To have them together on the team is amazing. They mesh so well together. They make things happen out there on the field and they help bring the whole offense together."

Brooks praised Zipprich and Altland for being key pieces to helping a lot of players on the team get better.

Sophomore Avery Galle is one of those players that has really stepped up her game this year with the help of Zipprich and Altland. Galle is currently the team's third leading scorer with 32 goals.

"I think Avery and all the girls on the team see how Brianna and Emily go about things and their work ethic why they have been very successful here at MAU," Brooks said. "They see that if they have the right mindset and work hard that they can be successful."

Off to a 10-0 start, Zipprich and Altland have a solid chance to finish out their high school careers by doing something that has never been done in the program's history — winning a second straight state championship.

Those might be the ultimate goals the two what to a achieve, but right now they is just focused on helping their team win and most importantly, having fun too.

"Our goal is to make it back to the finals, but we know we have to take things game by game and understand that every team we play is going give us its best because we won it all last year," Zipprich said. "It's been a really fun season. Our team has really meshed well and being part of an offense like ours is great. We know we have to get better at passing and catching, but we have really worked well as a unit all year and I have really enjoyed that."

The Patriots will be out on the field today to continue their run when they travel to play Woodstock at 4:30 p.m.

Reach sports editor Steven Bassin at 802-447-7567 ext 112 or @SBassin_Banner


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