Morgayne Rix's defense helps Garden City top Farmingdale

Garden City midfielder Haley O'Hanlon, left, and defender

Garden City midfielder Haley O'Hanlon, left, and defender Morgayne Rix pressure Farmingdale attacker Tara Wahl in a girls lacrosse game on Monday, April 7, 2014. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

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What a balanced team Garden City is.

The Trojans' effort was balanced, as was their offensive output. And despite the wet turf and a deluge during Monday's game, Morgayne Rix kept her balance.

"I'm known as 'Bambi', the 5-10 defender said with a chuckle. "I've fallen so often in games, I really earned that nickname the last two years.''

Teammate Haley O'Hanlon interjected: "Most definitely!''

Not this time. Rix remained upright and was part of a defense that rarely slipped up as Garden City beat Farmingdale, 9-7, in girls lacrosse.

O'Hanlon, Margot McTiernan, Kerry Defliese and Michaela Bruno each scored twice -- there was that balance -- as the Trojans overcame an early deficit to edge their Conference I rival.

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"Defensively, we were riding and that forced a lot of turnovers,'' said O'Hanlon, who also had two assists. "Once we settled in on offense, waiting for the passes, we got it going.''

Defliese gave Garden City a 5-4 lead with 2:34 remaining in the first half. She scored from 5 yards left, off a quick feed from Tara DeAngelo, capping a well-executed fast break. Defliese added another goal two minutes later.

And from there, the Trojans' defense provided traction. Rix, Kristen Adams and Melanie McHugh led a unit that seldom allowed clear shots and forced several miscues with its high pressure. Taylor Carpentier made five saves for Garden City (4-0).

Bridget Weill scored three goals and Olivia Kirk had 15 saves for Farmingdale (2-2). Emily Marlow's second goal pulled the Dalers within 8-7 with 8:39 to go, but O'Hanlon answered.

The Dalers were without one of their leading scorers, Tara Wahl, for most of the second half. The junior injured her right knee while running and had to be helped off with 19:03 remaining.

Wahl's goal gave Farmingdale a 4-2 lead midway through the first half, but Garden City tied it on Bruno's bouncer 8:56 before intermission.

"We just played tight man-to-man defense and they were there for the slides,'' Trojans coach Diane Chapman said. "They did a tremendous job.''

Rix was splendid in transition, step for step with opponents, and showed good change of direction in the open field -- without losing her footing.

"I think I've finally grown into my long legs,'' said Rix, a junior committed to Johns Hopkins. "So far this season, I've been staying off the ground. You play better defense when you're on your feet.''

After all, it's a system of (lacrosse) checks and balances.

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