Michaela Smith and Jackie Marino score as Garden City tops Manhasset

Garden City's Michaela Smith races downfield against Manhasset.

Garden City's Michaela Smith races downfield against Manhasset. (Sept. 18, 2013) (Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

Michaela Smith scored for Garden City. Then Abby Kucharczyk answered for Manhasset, off a feed from Emily Koufakis, who had snagged a deflected penalty corner shot.

Then Jackie Marino scored for Garden City -- a deflection from 3 feet after Tara DeAngelo rebounded another ricocheted corner shot.

Quite a sequence as the Conference I field hockey heavyweights traded uppercuts: the Manhasset home crowd roaring and both benches on edge.


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It seemed the teams had played a full game just in that moment . . . until the clock reminded us that all this took place in a two-minute span in the first half.

"It feels awesome. It feels like revenge," DeAngelo said Wednesday after the Trojans' 2-1 win over Manhasset. The midfielder was referring to last fall, when Manhasset ended Garden City's remarkable run of 18 county titles in the Nassau Class B final.

But the calendar reminds us, as DeAngelo said, "It's only the beginning of the season."

Of course.

The 10 months of hype leading up to it and the emotions during this charged contest do somewhat belie the fact that this was only the teams' second game of the season.

"Every game is big, but the ones against Manhasset are a little bigger," Trojans coach Diane Chapman said. "Even more so now, because they're the defending champs."

Smith lashed in a shot from 6 yards with 26:46 remaining in the first half, but Kucharczyk responded immediately. It was she who scored in the waning minutes of the final.

On Wednesday, though, the Trojans (2-0) had plenty of time with which to answer. Not that they needed much. After Kucharczyk scored at 25:25 of the first half, Marino came back with what proved to be the winner for Garden City 1:11 later.

"We work really hard on corners, and one of the things is tips and deflections," Marino said of her goal. "Thank God that came through for us."

So did Garden City's defense, led by sisters Kelly and Shannon Tierney, which settled in after the early barrage. Sabrina Milone made two saves and the Trojans cleared four penalty corners, including two late in the second half.

Jensen Polizzotto had six saves for Manhasset (1-1).

"We beat them both times in the regular season and then lost the one that counted," DeAngelo said. "That was disappointing and disheartening, so we came out pumped today. But we won't sit on this. We'll build on it. We want back what was ours."

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