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Garden City Trojans Defeat Sayville to win Long Island Class B Lacrosse Championship

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BY JAKE WHITE With a defense that virtually shut down two consecutive potent opponents and an offense that was so diversified that it proved to be nearly unstoppable, Garden City High’s boys lacrosse team marched to Nassau County and Long Island Class B titles last week. The wins advanced the team to the state semifinals vs. Yorktown on Wednesday, June 6 at Hofstra at 8 p.m. with the winner playing for the state championship at Middletown High School on Saturday, June 9 at 4 p.m. Now 20-0, the Trojans trounced rival Wantagh, 14-1, in the county championship game, then topped the Suffolk champ, Sayville, 9-2, before a large crowd at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium. In both games, the Trojans faced teams that averaged about 14 goals per game. No team had ever held consecutive opponents to just three combined goals in the two finals. “We are playing our best team defense of the year and it couldn’t happen at a better time,” said GC coach Steve Finnell. “Obviously, Dan Marino has been exceptional in goal and his defenders have been extremely effective. But it goes beyond that. Our midfielders are shutting down their men, we’re clearing the ball very well and the offense is controlling the clock. Those things limit opportunities for opponents to score.” Marino had eight saves against Wantagh as the Trojans kept the high-scoring Warriors off the scoreboard until midway through the fourth quarter when he left with a 13-0 lead. Going back to the first meeting between the teams, Garden City shut out Wantagh for 70 straight minutes. When you add in a Trojan offense that scored almost at will, the 14-1 win was among the most dominating playoff victories ever. Liam Kennedy (3), Justin Guterding (3), Rob Savage (2), Cody George (2) and Ryan Norton (2) all were multiple goal scorers while Devin Dwyer had three assists. “Wantagh had the ball for the first four or five minutes and they got off some good shots,” said Liam Kennedy. “But Dan Marino stopped them all and then we really got rolling. We have so many offensive threats that it makes it very tough for defenses.” That diversity was in evidence in the Long Island final last Saturday against Sayville, the Suffolk Class B winner over Comsewogue. The Golden Flashes packed in a tight zone defense in the first quarter and held the game scoreless with the help of some fine stops by goalie Patrick Fleming ,who would finish with 11 saves, and some unusually erratic shooting by the Trojans. “We were ready for it, but I think it took a little time to adjust to it,” said Justin Guterding. Then, as defensive assistant coach Mickey Blum pointed out, the defense got things going for the offense. Mark Ellis and Tim McDonagh both picked up ground balls in the defensive end and raced downfield on one-man clears. Both split the defense and fired home hard shots for goals. In the ensuing minutes, Devin Dwyer, Justin Guterding and Ryan Norton scored to put Garden City on top, 5-0, by halftime. Sayville never seriously threatened after that. “We want to keep playing,” said Finnell. “I think this is a great group. It’s been a great experience and we’re trying to keep it rolling.” LAX NOTES: The Trojans have won a record seven straight Nassau County Class B Championships and 21 all-time. It was GC’s third consecutive Long Island title and 16 th over-all....Yorktown advanced to the semis with wins over John Jay Cross River and Queensbury. GC edged Yorktown 10-8 in the semifinals at sweltering White Plains a year ago. Over-all, the teams have met nine times with GC leading 5-4. In semifinal games they are 4-4.....Dwyer raised his career assist total to 206 and now has 100 points this season. Red hot Justin Guterding now has 85 on 45 goals and 40 assists.....Marino recorded 11 saves against Sayville....James Sullivan continues to be effective on faceoffs....Defending state champ Jamesville-DeWitt was scheduled to play Irondequoit in the upstate semifinal.

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Photographer: newsphoto
Copyright: © Copyright newsphoto 2006
City, State, Country: Hempstead,new york,United States
Date submitted: 03 Jul 2012
Date taken: 02 Jun 2012
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Keywords: garden-, city-, trojans, sayville, boys-, lacrosse-, long-, island-, championship-, photos
Category: Sports/Lacrosse
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File Name: IMG_0857 homepage.jpg


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