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Garden City Girls Lax Returns to State Championships

Bruno, McTiernan combine for eight goals as Trojans hold off Eastport South-Manor 11-7.

The Garden City Lady Trojans are still not ready to relinquish their throne as the top team in Long Island girls’ lacrosse.

The girls defeated Eastport-South Manor 11-7 Sunday afternoon in the Class B Long Island Championship game at the Dowling Sports Complex in Brookhaven to uphold their title.

Senior tri-captain Alexandra Bruno scored three of her five goals early in the first half of for Garden City and her teammate Catherine McTiernan added three tallies also as the Trojans continued their march toward a seventh straight state championship.

The Trojans will once again head off for the state championships, which begin Friday.

“It’s such a great opportunity and we’re looking at this opportunity to go up there and win again,” Bruno said. 

Garden City, which claimed its eighth straight Nassau championship by beating Wantagh on Wednesday, dominated the play right from the opening whistle and jumped out to a 2-0 lead just 3:21 into the game on goals by Bruno immediately following Eastport South-Manor fouls. Her first came from 10 feet out from the left slot while the second came as she darted down the middle.

“I look at the goal and see where the open spots are and I just try to hit the open spots each time,” Bruno said of her penalty shot strategy. “[Sharks goalie Samantha Giacolone] was trying to bait me high, but I took the high shot anyway and just shot it past her.”

The Sharks halved the deficit on a goal by Kaeli Huff with just under five minutes gone in the first half, but barely tested Trojans goalie Megan McDonald the rest of the way. Kristen Anderson had the best chance with 10:16 left but her attempt while cutting in from the right side of the post was thwarted by McDonald.

“They really played great as a unit,” Garden City coach Diane Chapman said of her defense in the first half. “They played good 1-on-1 and were sliding to help one another.”

Meanwhile, Garden City’s outside forwards continued to find open players in the slot for uncontested goals, especially from behind the Eastport South-Manor net. Bruno set up Shana Maglio’s goal to make it 3-1 before taking a feed while cutting in front of the goal for a three-goal bulge. McTiernan then scored twice in 68 seconds before Catherine Dickinson capped the first-half barrage when her low shot from the slot beat Giacolone.

“We were setting a lot of good plays that we executed,” Trojans coach Diane Chapman said. “They had a nice smothering defense and no matter how good your ‘D’ is, if the play is executed, it’s going to be tough to stop.”

Eastport South-Manor put a scare in the Trojans by scoring the first three goals of the second half in the first 7:53 to make it 7-4, but goals by Bruno, Dickinson, and McTiernan 3:22 apart made the Garden City faithful breathe a little easier.

“I just said we had to get draw controls,” Chapman said about what she told the team during the timeout following the Sharks’ three-goal outburst. “You let them back in the game and now we have to settle down. If they’re going to cut from the top, you have to pick up that player.”

The Sharks still did not go down without a fight when Dakota Mason and Allison Gionta scored 42 seconds apart that made it 10-6, but Bruno notched her fifth goal of the game with 3:55 left and all but ended Eastport’s hopes for a miracle comeback. McDonald also stopped point-blank shots by Gionta and Rebecca Tooker.

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