The Garden City field hockey team is quite well known to its opponents in the area, and it proved on Wednesday afternoon why they have good reason to.
The No. 1 Lady Trojans defeated the No. 4 Lady Rams of Clarke by a 2-0 final in the Class B semifinals.
“They definitely came out much better and more cohesively as a team in the last twenty minutes. I was pleased with how they turned their play around,” said Garden City head coach Diane Chapman. “I thought the defense did a great job stopping a potent attack. They stepped up and did what they needed to do.”
Garden City put the pressure on right from the start as it managed to keep possession for much of the first half. Just six minutes in, the Lady Trojans nearly scored after a loose ball scramble in front of Amanda Garguilo and the Clarke net. Garguilo finished with 13 saves in the game.
With the two teams knotted in a scoreless tie at the half, the undefeated record of the Lady Trojans and the season altogether was put at stake. At 20:55 in the second half and with a penalty corner opportunity, Alexandra Bruno put a hard deflected shot into the upper corner of the net for a 1-0 Garden City lead.
With the lead in hand, the Lady Rams pressured even more with an attack, led by top goal scorer Emma Foster and Demi Shanahan. Despite a few solid chances from the visiting side, the Lady Trojans nearly scored again at the 13-minute mark. The girls eventually found their insurance goal with 7:36 remaining after Tara Mahon scored an unassisted goal off of another penalty corner opportunity.
“I think we really picked it up in the second half and we knew we really wanted to get to the county championship,” said the senior Bruno. “We need to be more offensive minded and look to score more. We just have to play to win and know we have to put pressure on from the start.”
The win moves Garden City to a 14-0-1 record as the team defeated Clarke for the second time this season.
The Lady Rams finish an unprecedented season with a 10-4-3 overall record that included a 1-0 win over North Shore in the quarterfinals of the playoffs.
“We were unlucky today, but we played a great game. I think we gave them a nice run for their money today,” said Clarke head coach Leslie Murray. “I think this brought us to the next level because we hadn’t made it to the semifinals in such a long time.”
Garden City will now face No. 2 Cold Spring Harbor in the Class B championship game Sunday at 2 p.m. at Adelphi University.