Liam Kennedy scores Six Goals to Lead Garden City Trojans Over Syosset 13-8 in Boys Lacrosse
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Scoring Recap: Garden City -- Liam Kennedy, 6 goals/1 assists; Patric Berkery, 2 goals/3 assists; Justin Guterding, 2 goals/2 assists; Rob Savage, 1 goal/1 assist; Ed Blatz, 1 goal; Devin Dwyer, 1 goal/2 assists; Brian Badgett, 1 assist.
Syosset -- Ryan Hunter, 4 goals; Taylor Kelbacher, 2 goals/1 assist; Alex Hatzopoulos, 1 goal; Andrew Keith, 1 goal/1 assist; Jonathan Camposa, 2 assists. Goalies: Garden City -- Dan Marino, 7 saves; Matt Cortese, 2 saves. Syosset -- Ryan Feit, 9 saves.
BY JAKE WHITE:
The weather may have been telling us that it is spring for some time now, but this week it
became official both by the calendar and the opening of Garden City High’s lacrosse season. After
scrimmaging three nationally-ranked teams (St. Anthony’s, New Jersey champion Bridgewater-
Raritan and Delbarton) in four days, the Trojans officially opened their 78th season by hosting
Syosset and Carey. Tomorrow (Saturday) Suffolk Class A powerhouse Ward Melville visits Warren
King Field at 1 p.m.
Syosset was the top-seeded team in Conference I ahead of defending State A Champ Farmingdale
and Massapequa, but the Braves were no match for the Trojans. Led by Liam Kennedy, who had a
career high six goals, Garden City jumped out to a 10-4 halftime lead and extended it to 13-4 after
three periods before Coach Steve Finnell cleared his bench. The 13-8 final score was not indicative
of the rout. Patric Berkery added two goals and three assists and Devin Dwyer had a goal and two
assists as did Justin Guterding. Rob Savage had two goals and an assist and several pipe shots.
Garden City comes into the season as the six-time Nassau County Class B Champion – a record.
In addition, the team will be out to win a third straight Long Island title. In each of the past two
seasons, the Trojans advanced all the way to the state final where they lost to Jamesville-DeWitt –
last year in overtime.
Coach Steve Finnell, beginning his sixth season with a record of 87-19, once again is challenging
his squad with an extremely difficult non-league schedule. After opening with Division I contender
Syosset, the Trojans host Ward Melville (tomorrow, 3/24). Later, non-league opponents will include
St. Paul’s of Baltimore (3/31 away), Conestoga Pa. (at Haverford, 4/14), Duxbury, Ma. (home, 4/21),
Suffolk B Champ Shoreham-Wading River (away, 4/28) and, of course, the Woodstick Classic vs. rival
Manhasset at Garden City on 5/5. All of the opponents appear somewhere on national ranking lists
with Garden City listed number 8 in pre-season.
“We want to play the best teams because it makes us better prepared to win championships.
That’s the same formula we’ve followed,” Finnell said. Make no mistake, the Trojans will face plenty
of competition in their own conference as well. Long Beach, down from Conference I, returns nearly
all its key players from a 2011 playoff team and Wantagh is always a contender. And remember, at
playoff time Manhasset is, like Garden City, a Class B team which sets up the possibility of a county
To reach the goals, Coach Finnell must deal with the loss of some great players. “On defense, we
graduated All-Americans Steve Jahelka and Brian Fischer (both at Harvard) plus J.P. Burnside and
Matt Confort. We are fortunate to have Eugene Berkery and our outstanding goalie Dan Marino back,
and we have some fine athletes competing for the other starting roles.” Among those are Ed Blatz,
Scott D’Antonio, Pat Niebler, Kyle Skramko, and Tom Wright. Matt Cortese will back up Marino in
“We have most of our offense back, including Devin Dwyer who is one of the best attackmen on
Long Island, and Patric Berkery, who could play on anyone’s midfield,” Finnell said. Dwyer had 61
assists last year but his favorite target, Tom Gordon who scored 47 goals, has graduated. GC will
look to Liam Kennedy and Berkery, who combined for 63 goals, to fill that void along with talented
junior Justin Guterding and seniors Rob Savage and Mike Comiskey. Lucas Clay and Jack Worstel will
also be in the mix. Speedsters Mark Ellis and Ryan Norton will bolster the midfield along with Conor
McDonnell, Tim McDonagh (defensive middies), James Sullivan, Brian Badget and Cody George
LAX NOTES: Though scores aren’t kept, GC was more than competitive in the scrimmages against
top competition....Despite the equally tough schedule a year ago, the Trojans finished 19-3 which is
a tough act to follow...Veteran coaches and officials agree that this is the warmest early spring that
they can remember....Mark Ellis is recovering from a sore back and will miss several games....Sadly,
Mike Lofrese, fresh off a brilliant wrestling season and being counted on as an attackman, suffered
a season-ending knee injury before the first scrimmage...Ward Melville topped GC last year, but the
Trojans lead the all-time series 5-2.