Garden City Trojans Defeat Manhasset Indians 6-5 to win Nassau Conference "B" Boys Lacrosse Title
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story BY JAKE WHITE
More than 4,000 lacrosse fans showed up at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium on Tuesday night to watch the much-anticipated rematch between Woodstick rivals Garden City and Manhasset and they were treated to a tense, defensive struggle survived by the Trojans, 6-5. It was the record sixth
straight Nassau County Class B Championship for Garden City which advances to the Long Island
Championship this Saturday, June 4 at Stony Brook against either Huntington or Shoreham-Wading
This 121st meeting between the old North Shore rivals was played in chapters. Garden City (17-
2) opened the show with a three goal barrage in the first 1:15 of the game. That shocking start
was followed by more than 35 minutes of stifling defense by both sides, then a three goal fourth
quarter Manhasset rally that tied the game at 5-5 with less than five minutes left to play. Add some
melodrama. GC’s star defenseman Steve Jahelka injured an ankle and was surrounded by medical
staffers behind the Indians’ goal. He eventually got to his feet and was helped off the field by none
other than Manhasset coach Bill Cherry as the big crowd applauded. The move not only showed the
class of the coach but the genuine respect these teams have for each other.
But the drama was just beginning. Two minutes later Jahelka, the ultimate warrior, limped back
on the field after an expert tape job by the GC trainer. With the game on the line, Garden City got
possession and Patric Berkery, who had been blanked for 46 minutes, stepped up to claim his second straight title game MVP Award. The junior middie worked his way around the cage, stopped and fired past Manhasset goalie Frank Morelli for the game winner with 90 seconds remaining.
One of the downsides of having both of these two rivals in Class B for the first time since 1999 is
that one of them can’t represent Section Eight in the state tournament. Manhasset (17-2) lost only to Garden City this year but their season is over.
Fans had barely settled into their seats when the Trojans jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Jahelka stole
the ball after Manhasset won the opening faceoff. He passed to Rob Savage who beat a defender and fired a hard shot past Morelli. Savage then won the ensuing faceoff and fed Devin Dwyer who found Liam Kennedy on the doorstep for a second goal. Dwyer struck again moments later when he fired a hard pass to Mark Ellis who deflected it into the goal.
After a Manhasset goal made it 3-1 at the half, Tom Gordon went to work, The senior attack, who
leads the Trojans with 41 goals, made it 4-1 with the most spectacular goal of the season. Brian
Fischer, who had one of his best games, raced downfield on a clear and passed to Devin Dwyer who
rifled a pass to Gordon who took the ball in midair and fired it home. After the Indians scored,
Gordon put the Trojans on top 5-2 with an unassisted goal.
With a three goal lead and a quarter to play, the Garden City fans were almost comfortable, but
Manhasset doesn’t quit and their rally nearly ended GC’s title dreams. Berkery, however, did what
the great ones do. He stepped up and scored the lead goal, then executed a solo clear to kill the final 11 seconds.
LAX NOTES: GC goalie Dan Marino recorded 10 saves in holding the high-scoring Indians to just 5 goals....Garden City and Manhasset have met in 17 playoff games since 1946. The Trojans have won 10 times but most importantly, they lead 7-1 in championship games....Dwyer’s 3 assists give him 55 for the season....The Suffolk B final was to match Huntington which upset favored Comsewogue and Shoreham-Wading River. The Trojans are 6-4 all-time vs. Huntington and have never played S- WR.....The state semifinals will be played at White Plains High School next Wednesday and the finals are at Cicero-North Syracuse High School on Saturday, June 11.