Garden City Trojans boys lacrosse wins Nassau Class B title with 13-4 win over Wantagh Warriors
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Story By Jake White
What shaped up as a classic match between the best offensive team and the best defensive team playing for the Nassau County Class B lacrosse Championship, instead turned out to be a mismatch as the Garden City Trojans dominated both ends of the field and coasted to a 13-4 victory. It was the fifth straight county title for the Trojans (16-3) who advanced to the Long Island Championship game against Comsewogue which won the Suffolk B crown by beating Hauppague, 9-8..
“I’m really proud of our guys,” said Garden City coach Steve Finnell. “We were playing one of the highest scoring teams around and we shut them down. It was a great win. Getting out of Nassau is always a real challenge. But our work isn’t done.”
Indeed, it isn’t. The Nassau champion faces a challenging week with potentially three games in five days: the Long Island title game on June 8 at Hofstra at 3:30 p.m. with the winner advancing to the state semifinal again at Hofstra on June 10 at 3:30 p.m. and the New York State Class B Championship at Stony Brook on Saturday, June 12 at 11 a.m.
Few predicted the one-sided win over Wantagh (16-3). Back on April 23 the Warriors handed GC a 10-9 double overtime loss with the Warriors’ Brandon Mangan, Nassau’s scoring leader, tallying the winning goal and Jake Gambitsky making 21 saves. This time around Mangan was held to a single goal and the Trojans beat Gambitsky 13 times.
From the outset, Garden City set the tone. Rob Savage opened the scoring with an unassisted goal, followed by back-to-back goals by Kyle Hughes on assists by Devin Dwyer and Matt Montgomery. Pat Berkery scored the first of his game-high four goals late in the period off a pass from Liam Kennedy. The Trojans went ahead 5-0 just 14 seconds into the second quarter when Dwyer took a pass from Dan LoSardo and scored a man-up goal. Wantagh came back to score the next two but that is as close as they got. GC scored the next five to take a 10-2 lead early in the final period.
A key factor in keeping Wantagh’s offense under wraps was the outstanding play of the Trojans’ two faceoff men. Seniors Jared Mitchell and Connor Horl won 17 of 21 draws. With Coach Finnell and offensive coach Bryan “Mugsy” Walker employing a deliberate, patient offense, Garden City enjoyed a huge advantage in time of possession.
When Wantagh got the ball, the Trojan defense was all over the Warriors. Stephen Jahelka, Brian Fischer, Billy Sweeney, J.P. Burnside, Matt Confort Andrew D’Antonio and goalie Alex Castronovo were at their aggressive best. A stifling defense is almost expected as Garden City stretched its winning streak to nine games. What has changed is the consistent play of the offense which is scoring at a rate of 12 goals per game over that stretch.
“Wantagh’s mistake was beating Garden City the first time,” joked a veteran, retired official. “Garden City almost never loses to the same team twice. I knew they’d come out playing like this. I’ve been watching it for thirty years.”
Since Section Eight became the governing body of Nassau lacrosse in 1961, Garden City is the first team to win five straight championships. Their next goal is to take the Long Island title. After winning 10 of their first 11 games against the Suffolk champ, the Trojans have lost four straight. They are riding a wave of strong play into the final week as they try to reach their ultimate goal: a fifth New York State Championship and their first since 2000........
Garden City Trojans 2010 boys varsity lacrosse roster includes: Devin Dwyer, Liam Kennedy, Jack Spencer, Dan Losardo, Dan Marino, Rob Savage, Matt Montgomery, Kevin Dachille, Scott McElroy, Brian Coleman, Matt Confort, Conor McDonnell, Kyle Hughes, Jim Kenny, Tom Gordon, Jared Mitchell, Connor Horl, Patric Berkery, Eugene Berkery, Andrew D'Antonio, Tim Moynihan, Connor Cortese, Billy Sweeney, Brian Fischer, John Bock, Alex Castronovo, Stephen Jahelka, Dan McCallan, JP Burnside, Griffin Eilbeck, Ed Blatz, Mark Ellis, Ryan Norton, Matt Leto, Mike Lofrese, Justin Guterding, Mike Comiskey Skye MacLeod, Ryan Williams, Lucas Clay, Elias Georges, Andre Stone, Scott D'Antonio. Head coach Steve Finnell. Assistants:Dave Ettinger, Frank Alfino, Bryan Walker, Mickey Blum........Wantagh Warriors 2010 boys lacrosse roster, last names only: John Ingrilli, Mangan, Walsh, Giardina, Sanchez, Stottler, Reicheter, Burke, Daly, Callahan, Bonnano, Connolly, Von Bargen, Balzano, Jim Ingrilli, Moriarity, O'Donnell, Lemanski, Labas, Adriani, Biscardi, O'Connor, Hooker, Watson, Sierra, Gambitsky, Fitzpatrick............About Newsphoto.com-- Newsphoto covers local news stories including features and sporting events in your area. Professional still and video photojournalists cover news worthy events and then upload them to Newsphoto for distribution over the Internet through online news portals such as Google news and Bignews.biz. The company also distributes the stories through social media outlets such as twitter and facebook as well as blogs and Web sites. Newsphoto journalists also offer their photos and videos up for commercial and editorial licensing to local, national and international media as well as selling event photos for personal use. For more information on Newsphoto please email Lauren@Newsphoto.com