Cortland, N.Y. -- Following the coach’s, Ali Fox huddled her teammates for a pre-game speech of her own. The senior, speaking loudly and earnestly, implored the Canandaigua girls lacrosse team to ignore Garden City’s reputation and its championship pedigree.
“It means nothing,” Fox yelled. “Never mind what they’ve done, it’s all in the past. Let’s go beat them and make history.”
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Two hours later, after a 13-8 victory, Garden City marched off the field celebrating a seventh consecutive Class B state title and its 13th overall. Canandaigua had also lost to the Trojans in the 2010 state semifinal. This year, the Braves reached the final for the first time, but in their way again, stood that maroon and white barricade.
“It definitely gets frustrating,” Fox, a defender, said after the game. “You get to states and [Garden City] is always there. We played maybe our best game and it wasn’t enough. But they’re the best of the best and it’s a testament to how great they are.”
And how great they have been. A year ago, following the Trojans’ state title victory over Brighton, the opposing coach, Richard Curtis, asked for a copy of Garden City’s roster. He counted nine seniors (four All-Americans among them) and remarked to an assistant, “There might be a chance next year.”
“As much as it hurts,” Canandaigua coach Sue Ellis said, “you have to appreciate what they’ve done. Seven in a row? They’ve earned their kudos.”
Canandaigua (18-4) came out on fire in Saturday’s game, and went ahead 2-0 in the first three minutes. After a Garden City run late in the first half, the Braves answered and Lauren D’Amore (four goals) tied it at 6 going into halftime.
But from there… “They did a great job of shutting down our offense,” D’Amore said. “And on their offense, they’ve got some amazing girls who can do it all. Against [Garden City], you have to be perfect.”
The Trojans graduate eight seniors this year: Catherine Dickinson, Jenna Fuchs, Catherine McTiernan, Katie Trimmer, Alexandra Bruno, Megan McDonald, Shana Maglio and Liz Stutzmann.
Given that, will opportunity's door be ajar next year for their opponents?
“We wanted this so bad for the seniors,” Trojans junior Carly Knowles said. “But we want more. The goal is to be right back here next year.”