CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Catherine McTiernan looked on anxiously, perhaps more tense than she had been in some time on a lacrosse field.
"Come on, come on. Pass it!" she thought. And when that ball found the back of the net late in the second half, "I couldn't have been more ecstatic."
That's because the goal belonged to freshman Margot McTiernan, Catherine's little sister. She scored on a hip-high sling from close range after taking a pass from Kristen Adams, and the "Way to go Margot" cheers erupted from the Garden City bench.
Her goal increased the lead to 12 as Garden City cruised to a 15-5 win over Vestal Friday in the state Class B semifinals at SUNY-Cortland.
Garden City (16-5) had long been in control, thanks to its senior stalwarts. Alexandra Bruno had four goals and three assists, Catherine McTiernan and Catherine Dickinson each had three goals and an assist, and Jenna Fuchs added a goal and an assist. Megan McDonald made five saves.
"This is how we do it," senior defender Katie Trimmer sang after the game.
Literally, it has been how they've done it. The Trojans will face Canandaigua at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, seeking a seventh straight Class B state title.
Garden City beat the upstate school in the state semifinals two years ago.
"A lot of people doubted us and our ability to get this far this year," defender Linda Attanasio said. "But here we are, back in the final."
Garden City began substituting less than midway through the first half. But Margot McTiernan's goal was a subtle indication that, for this program, the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. Things have changed considerably for Garden City this season. The departure of nine seniors, including four All-Americans, and five regular-season losses started etching the epitaph of this golden era.
Yet here the Trojans are, a victory away from being corronated once more.
"I was nervous because it's a semifinal and you don't want to mess up," Margot McTiernan said. "But one of your goals as a freshman is to score in the state tournament."
The same can be said for junior Jackie Jahelka, who scored with 12:24 left. Her brother, Stephen, who starred for Garden City, looked on proudly.
"It's great when we can get a big lead and get everyone in so they can experience this stage," Jackie Jahelka said.
Freshman Morgayne Rix was also a beneficiary of that. She helped run the offense from the midfield, as her sister, Mikaela, a former All-American, did last year. "[Morgayne] is a defender, but she asked to switch to middie before the season," McDonald said.
"There's pressure because we've got big shoes to fill," Morgayne Rix said, "but it's a lot more fun playing in states than watching from the stands."
Bruno has a sister who is in the eighth grade, and some believe the younger Bruno, Michaela, might one day be even more talented than her All-American big sis.
"More little sisters," Catherine McTiernan said. "They keep on coming."
Likewise for Garden City's success.