Michaela Bruno is a veteran high school field hockey player with more accolades and championships than most of her peers.
But that didn't stop her from becoming as giddy as a freshman after leading Garden City in its most impressive showing this season, a 9-0 win over Manhasset on Sunday at Adelphi, for the Trojans' third straight Nassau Class B Championship.
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"It's amazing, it gets better every time," said Bruno, a midfielder, who is savoring her senior year. She led the way with a hat trick, including two penalty stroke goals in the second half.
"It's still surreal, I was shaking the entire game. Manhasset's a great team, it just happened to be that we were on the ball today."
Bruno sidestepped a defender during a penalty corner before scoring on a booming shot to give Garden City a 4-0 lead with 5:58 left in the first half.
It was the Trojans' fourth goal in a nine-minute span.
Garden City looked dominant from the start. The team was unselfish with passing and distributing the ball and never let up.
Manhasset goalie Lauren Suga saved a shot from eight yards with 18:58 left in the half, but couldn't stave off a rally by the Trojans.
"When we play as a team, it's very hard for other teams because we have so many different weapons out there," Garden City coach Diane Chapman said. "I'm just proud of the way they played. We had to fight. Even thought it was 9-0, I really don't think it's indicative of the game because they made us work hard for everything we did."
The Trojans scored their first goal when Kelly Aneser redirected a shot from Emily Clarke with 14:53 left in the first. Liana McDonnell, Clarke and Devon Heaney also scored for a 5-0 lead at the half.
Garden City kept up the pace in the second, scoring five minutes in on a Bruno penalty stroke. She completed the hat trick seven minutes later. Clarke and Julianne Larsson rounded out the scoring.
"I think we did well all around," Clarke said. "We had an offensive game, which is definitely our strong point, but when it got into the defense, our defense really stepped up."
Added Clarke: "We've worked so hard since August, and it's great to see we stepped up when we had to."