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Girls’ lacrosse: Upper Dublin coach Cross wins 200th over Abington, her first team, as daughter scores 9 goals

Thursday, 17th April 2014

Categories Girl's/Women's, High School, Posted 4/17/14
From Staff Report and

It was indeed a fitting ending Wednesday when host Upper Dublin defeated Abington, 17-7, in a Suburban One American Conference girls’ lacrosse game.

Julie Cross collected nine goals and two assists as her mother, UD coach Dee Cross, won her 200th game as a high school coach.

Cross, a member of the Eastern PA Chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame, has been the head coach at Upper Dublin since 2007 and has led her team to six straight league titles. This year’s team is now 3-6, but has won three straight and is 3-0 in the conference.

Cross’ record at Upper Dublin is 110-40. She also won 90 games as coach at Abington for 13 years (1986-99). She had come back to coaching and has had the joy of coaching her four daughters (Julie is the youngest).

“When I look back at my years at Abington, I’m still in touch with a lot of those girls,” Cross said. “It really was a very special time for me – to get started in coaching, to learn how to build a program.

“At Upper Dublin, it’s a completely different experience. I’m coaching my own daughters, which I never would have thought I’d have a chance to do. It adds a different element.”

On the opposite coaching sidelines were Abington grads Mary Kate Lomady, Kelly Condon, Alisha Aquilino and Steph Serben. All of them played on Abington teams that Cross coached against at Upper Dublin.

Children of two of her former assistants at Abington played for the Ghosts on Wednesday. Casey McAllister is the daughter of former assistant Donna McAllister and Sam McGee, the daughter of another former assistant, Dawn McGee.

“It was so cool to watch them – I’ve known them since they were born, and now they’re freshmen in high school,” said Cross. “I’m really thankful for the amazing women I had a chance to coach at Abington and to watch how they have grown up.

“It has been special, and I’ve been so lucky to be a part of all of that. That’s what sports is all about – keeping those friendships.”

Rachel DiFrangia (five goals, two assists) and Taylor D’Ginto (two goals, five assists) also led the attack. Upper Dublin goalie Sarah Gallagher was credited with six saves.

The Cardinals served early notice that they meant business, opening up a 10-4 halftime lead

“I intentionally made our nonleague schedule hard because I do have a bunch of seniors on the team,” Cross said. “I didn’t expect Kayla McAneney to go down with a torn ACL in basketball.
“She’s a big, big part of our midfield and our defensive unit, so that immediately put us on our heels. We started off against Boyertown, Conestoga – all these really good teams, and we couldn’t catch our breath.”

Four of the team’s six losses were by two goals or less.

“I was worried that it would demoralize us, but getting into our league games, especially today, I saw them put together two really good halves,” Cross said. “We had not played a complete game yet.

“Our worst loss was to West Chester Henderson (20-9), but most of the games we were right there. It was a tough way to start, but I think the girls have learned from it. They’re showing more poise on the field, which is good.”

For the Ghosts, Jeannie VanBuren had two goals and two assists while McGee had two goals and one assist.

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