"There wasn't that much time left and I knew they were working their way back," the Garden City gate-keeper said. "I knew it was a big save. If they'd scored, we'd have just been more upset while they were getting more pumped up."
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Carpentier's stop preserved a two-goal lead with 5:58 left and ultimately sealed the Trojans' 8-7 non-league win Saturday over visiting Shoreham in a battle of the Class B and C girls lacrosse state champions.
But did we mention that the Trojans led by as many as five midway through the second half?
Or that Carpentier and the gritty Garden City defense were able to withstand an Alyssa Pearce-led invasion so fiery it would give the actual Trojans pause?
"Shoreham was really quick today, so we really had to step it up and stay on our toes," defender Linda Marie Attanasio said. "It was all about remembering to hold your ground; no stupid fouls. The big thing was staying calm and composed and not letting them get into your head."
After holding possession but being denied for the first eight minutes, Garden City gave up a goal to Paulina Constant before rattling off four straight to end the half -- the last two on Kayla Murphy's footrace against goalie Lauren Daly (her plum positioning courtesy of a push during an attempted Daly clear), and Jackie Jahelka's free position with 15 seconds left.
Garden City (14-1), ranked fifth in the nation by LaxPower, took an 8-3 lead on Jahelka's tally with 15:56 left, a score that seemed to provide more than enough breathing room. But . . .
"They're a really physical team and they just weren't letting up," Jahelka said. "On the offensive side, we were really just trying to spread out and hold [the ball]."
Even that couldn't stop Pearce, who scored all four of her goals in the last 15:31. Her one-timer off Constant's assist, buried in the back of the net, drew the Wildcats (12-3) to within 8-6 with 7:47 left. But Carpentier (seven saves) made the big stop two minutes later, and Murphy's pass deflection and Krista Dampman's ground ball helped stifle the momentum.
Pearce's score off Rosati's feed with 3.9 seconds left provided the final margin.
"They're really, really aggressive . . . There's nothing you can do about it," Jahelka said. "You just have to take your bruises and move the ball."
But there is a reward for surviving that type of onslaught, especially in the last regular-season game of the year.
"We all played really well at the end," Jahelka said. "Right now, I think we're feeling pretty confident."