Upper Dublin edges Gwynedd Mercy to send coach Cross out in style

UPPER DUBLIN — Julie Cross said this week has been, “a bunch of lasts.’

As a player it was Cross’ final week as a scholastic athlete before moving on to play lacrosse at Syracuse University next season.

And as a player, Cross scored six goals, including, the game-winner as Upper Dublin scored two late goals to stun Gwynedd Mercy, 9-8, in the finale to the Cardinals lacrosse season.

But more importantly, this week represented her mother Dee’s final week as a scholastic lacrosse coach, bringing to an end a coaching career that has spanned nearly 30 years.

Taking over as the head coach of the Abington program in 1987 and coaching through the 1999 campaign, Cross eventually took over the Upper Dublin program in 2007, just in time to coach daughters Ali, Amy, Kelly and Julie.

And now, the elder Cross will become a full-time lacrosse mom, able to watch Kelly, who now plays at Syracuse, and Julie.

Although Cross intimated that she may not be done with coaching, suggesting that some day she may turn up as a collegiate assistant.

But as a sendoff, the Cross daughters secretly put together a going-away party for their mom, inviting back players their mom has coached at both Abington and Upper Dublin.

Julie said the daughters had also put together a special scrapbook, with clippings from throughout their mom’s career, from her playing days at Norristown High and Shippensburg University and through her playing days as the captain of the U.S. World Cup team, a team for which she later served as an assistant coach.

And of course from her coaching days at both Abington and Upper Dublin.

“It’s going to be pretty emotional,’ Julie promised. “She’s gone through so much, and I really wanted to win this one for her.’

The youngest Cross said her mom has always been able to keep her coaching separate from her parenting.

“She knows how to keep field things on the field and she knows how to keep home things at home, and dad (Sumner) keeps us calm, and helps us avoid situations.’

Julie added that her mom is also sentimental, and not at all reluctant to bring up the past.

“She’ll always talk about when we were all babies,’ Julie laughed. “It’s so awesome for her to be able to have something like this. “She’s a coach and she’ll always be a coach. You can’t take her away from it.’

And while Dee kept a stiff upper lip throughout the post-game activities and the reunions with her former players, Julie said it wouldn’t last.

“She’s been emotional all week,’ Julie said. “This is her last week and I’m her last baby, so it’s going to be pretty emotional.’

As for the game, Upper Dublin built a 6-1, first-half lead as Julie Cross scored five times and assisted on Lindsey Schriber’s goal. The visiting Monarchs could have been worse off if not for the play of goalkeeper Gabby Tanner, who had 10 first-half saves.

Eventually, the visitors crawled back into the game, cutting their deficit to 7-5 behind two goals from Alexa Paul and single tallies from Kelly Szamboti and Lizzy Ferguian, and ultimately took an 8-7 lead in the second half on another goal by Szamboti.

But the Cardinals tied it a little over a minute-and-a-half later, then used Cross’ goal with 5:12 left to pull out the victory.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply