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Baker scores 100th goal, Wissahickon tops Upper Dublin to clinch share of SOL American title

Wissahickon's Emma Baker holds a cake that celebrates her 100th career goal, which she scored during the Trojans' win over Upper Dublin on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (Mike Cabrey/MediaNews Group)

LOWER GWYNEDD >> Sitting at 99 career goals, Emma Baker knew the 8-meter shot she was given late in the second half was too good an opportunity to come away empty.

“I was like don’t mess it up,” the Wissahickon girls lacrosse junior said. “But I was glad I got that.”

Baker did not miss her chance at triple digits – darting in from the left to the front of the goal and putting a shot into the top half of the net to register her 100th with 5:28 left in the Trojans’ matchup with Upper Dublin Wednesday afternoon.

“After my second goal, it was halftime and I was like ‘Oh I don’t know, they’re playing really good pressure out,’” Baker said. “I was a little nervous but my teammates helped me and they wanted me to get my 100th.”

Baker hit the century mark on the last of her game-best six goals, four coming in the second half as undefeated Wissahickon pulled away from the Cardinals and secured at least a share of the SOL American Conference with a 15-8 victory.

“The first half kind of didn’t look like our usual selves,” said Baker, a Towson commit. “But at the halftime we were like we got to show Upper Dublin what we’re really about and I feel like we showed that.”

The Trojans led 7-5 at the break before Upper Dublin pulled to within one on a Jenn McCarry goal at 21:44 in the second half. But Wissahickon (14-0, 9-0 conference) answered by scoring the next five – the final three from Baker – to go up 12-6 and went on to beat UD for the first time since 2016, snapping a three-game losing streak in the rivalry.

“That first half was a doozy,” Trojans coach Jamie Kane said. “I think we had a lot of pressure failures and also there was a lot of things that Upper Dublin, it wasn’t necessarily what we were doing wrong but what they were doing right. And I know that Dee (Cross is) a good coach and we know as a team, we know that Upper Dublin’s a great program. So I think our nerves collectively, even though I kept saying, ‘Be calm, be yourself, just play your game,’  you can’t fight what you actually know in your gut.

“So I think once we pulled it together and let go of those pressure failures, we started getting our passes up, we started placing our shots, a lot of catching and throwing on the run, driving to feed so all those things together helped us come out with a (win) cause at halftime it was 7-5.”

The Wissahickon girls lacrosse team takes a picture to celebrate Emma Baker’s 100th career goal during the Trojans’ win over Upper Dublin on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (Mike Cabrey/MediaNews Group)

Along with the posters and pictures to celebrate her scoring milestone postgame, Baker also got a cake with 100 written in icing on the top.

“I didn’t know if I would get it this season cause it was my second season,” she said. “Obviously we didn’t have (a season) cause corona last year. But I set myself up well with 29 freshman year.”

Quinn Gaffey added three goals, Sophia Chiodo Ortiz and Abby DeGroat both scored twice while Lexi Hobson had a goal and two assists for the Trojans, which secured at minimum a piece of its fist SOL title since 2015 when they claimed the outright American Conference crown.

“I think we did a lot better taking care of the ball and not throwing it away and also just holding it cause possession is key in lacrosse,” DeGroat said. “So I think by holding the ball for the entire second half that’s what took us to our win.”

Wissahickon can have this year’s title all to itself with a win in either of its last two conference games, the first coming 6 p.m. Monday at Quakertown.

“Well my sister (Megan) played and they didn’t really win either so it’s really, really good,” DeGroat said. “Especially that we beat Abington and Upper Dublin all in the same year.”

McCarry paced Upper Dublin (6-6, 5-2) with five goals, the UMass Lowell scoring the last two of the first half then extended it a personal 3-0 run with the second half’s opening tally to have the Cardinals trailing 7-6.

UD, however, did not score again until 7:17 remaining when a McCarry strike made it 12-7. But that was a close as the Cards could get – Wissahickon registered the next three goals to lead by eight with 1:33 left.

“That’s Jenny. She does that every game, all game. She will never, ever stop,” Upper Dublin coach Dee Cross said. “And not that anyone gave up – she wills the team to win and takes the team on her back. We just have to play better throughout the whole game. We had moments were we did some really nice things we just have to put it all together.”

Aditi Foster tallied the other three goals for Upper Dublin, which hosts Lower Moreland 5 p.m. Friday.

“We just had too many unforced turnovers today,” Cross said. “And we have a young team, we have a lot of different things going on and it was tough. So I’m happy we played ‘til the last whistle, we just didn’t have it today. And kudos to Wissahickon, they’re very strong this year and they just took it to us.”

The Cardinals’ early success on draw controls – taking four of the first five – helped the visitors take a 3-2 lead when Foster found the back of the net at 13:48 in the opening half. Wissahickon, however, put Baker on draws and the Trojans proceeded to rip off five straight goals.

Gaffey tied it 3-3 at 13:00 with Baker’s back-to-back goals making it 5-3 Trojans at 11:41. Gaffey converted an 8-meter shot at 7:05 with Nora Ryan scoring off a Hobson assist for a 7-3 lead at 3:30.

McCarry ended the 5-0 run at 1:46 then scored her third of the afternoon on an 8-meter shot  with 42.7 seconds to make it a two-score game at intermission.

“We would get within two or even up for a little bit and again it’s just maturity,” Cross said. “We have a young team this year, we have a solid midfield but we have young both ends and getting them to believe that they can do it and even when you make a mistake it’s getting the next one and the next one. And we just could not do that today.”

After McCarry cut the Trojans’ lead to 7-6, Hobson came around the next for a goal 59 seconds later at 20:45. DeGroat scoring on an 8-meter shot at 19:19 put the home side up 9-6.

Baker continued the Wissahickon momentum with three straight goals – on her second shrugging off contact and bouncing a shot in at 17:18 then slicing through the defense for a 12-6 lead at 16:22.

“Each goal I just though how much closer I was to it,” said Baker of approaching 100 goals. “So I think that was (what) kind of kept pushing me.”

From there, Wissahickon used clock with patient possessions while also forcing turnovers in the midfield. McCarry got the Cards within five but Baker put the Trojans back up six with her 100th.

Goals from Hobson and DeGroat – the latter on an 8-meter shot – gave Wissahickon its largest lead at 15-7.

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