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Battle Of The Titans

Garden City falls short against Manhasset rivals

You’d have to forgive the Garden City players if they were experiencing déjà vu. For the second time this season, the Trojans found themselves facing a resilient Indians squad that wound up rallying to a victory over a strong Garden City team.

Just a few weeks ago, Manhasset fell short, losing by one goal. This time they returned the favor, beating the Trojans 4-3 en route to a Class B final date against Lynbrook.

At 3-3 heading into the fourth quarter, it was poised for a big moment to sway the game in either team’s direction. It was the Indians that came away with not one, but two big moments to advance.

With 6:05 remaining in the fourth quarter, senior James Farrell found sophomore Matt Gavin for the Indians’ first lead of the game and the eventual winner. Gavin then leapt into Farrell’s arms to celebrate.

“It was hallelujah. It was a great feeling scoring that goal,” said Gavin. “We knew we could rally back from three goals. Last Wood Stick we were down 7-4 and we rallied back to lose by one and we didn’t want to lose again. We knew we had to win this one.”

After a Manhasset turnover, the Trojans had 1:40 left in the game to find a tying goal. They were inches away from finding it. Indians’ goaltender John Young was able to get enough of his body in front to make a massive stop with :12 seconds to go as time eventually ran out on the Trojans.

“On the last shot I saw him get open on the crease and I tried to step up a little bit to take away as much of the goal as I possibly could so he wouldn’t have much to shoot at. He managed to hit the inside of my leg and it didn’t trickle in,” said Young.

The Trojans found themselves up 3-0 with senior Cody George’s goal with 9:30 left in the second quarter. Senior Kieran Byrnes and junior James Sullivan also scored for Garden City.

The Trojans’ plan of limiting Manhasset’s possessions was working perfectly in the opening half, but uncharacteristic errors in the second half may have ultimately doomed Garden City’s chances to play for the Class B title.

“It turned into that sort of game where it was taking care of the ball. We had too many turnovers in the third quarter, but tip the cap to Manhasset they played well, said Trojans’ head coach Steve Finnell.

Senior Charlie Malhame finished one off towards the end of the first half off a feed from Gavin to cut the lead to 3-1.

Indians’ head coach Bill Cherry noted that it was a point of emphasis over the halftime break to take care of the ball and make the best of opportunities. His team did just that with junior Tyler Dunn and senior Ryan Miller scoring the only goals of the third quarter, before Gavin’s winner in the fourth.

“We don’t play any creampuffs, we could be 12-2, 15-1, it’s just a matter of being more disciplined and wanting it more, tonight they wanted it more,” said Cherry.

The win washed out the poor taste in the Indians’ mouth from losing so many one goal games. They will get one more chance for revenge when they face Lynbrook.

“They’ve mentioned it a few times,” said Cherry of facing Lynbrook. “We’ve sort of put it on the back burner, but now we can talk about it.”

For Garden City, Finnell noted that he expects his Trojans team to be once again be fighting for a county championship next year, acknowledging having one of his best senior classes this past year.

“Our seniors were great leaders, one of the most decorated classes to ever come through Garden City High School lacrosse, some guys have been with us two or three years and have been with us for counties, Long Islands and state championships,” said Finnell. “They’re winners, the scoreboard just doesn’t show it today.”