Lauren Miesemer didn't practice the whole week leading up to Garden City's showdown with Sayville in the Long Island Class A girls soccer championship game Saturday at Tully Park in New Hyde Park.
The Trojans' midfielder was suffering from what she said was a pulled right hamstring. Miesemer's teammates were sure glad she fought through it to play in this one.
Miesemer scored with 2:02 remaining in the second five-minute golden goal overtime to give Garden City a 1-0 win.
"I don't even remember the play," said Miesemer, who stood in the box awaiting Katherine Malhame's feed before toeing it to the left corner. "I'm still in shock. This is the best feeling ever."
Malhame, another Trojans midfielder, understood she had to get it to Miesemer as quickly as possible as she made her strong run up the left side.
"I knew we didn't have much time left, so I made that last push count," said Malhame, who was credited with the assist. "I knew it would be worth it. I can't wait to get back upstate."
Garden City (13-3-1) seeks its second state title in four years when it takes on Burnt Hills (Section II) in the state semifinals at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at SUNY Cortland.
Malhame and midfielder Haley O'Hanlon, both co-captains, are the only holdovers from the Trojans last state championship team.
"Let's not make that last [county] win against South Side meaningless," Garden City coach Mike Heedles said. "We were pretty excited. You always want to represent Long Island. This team reminds me a lot of the 2010 team by the way it defends. We defended extremely well."
Kiarra Grimes defended the goal extremely well all game long for Sayville, which finished 14-3. The Golden Flashes freshman goalkeeper made several spectacular saves, including one where she had to slide to her right to corral a shot by Malhame to send the game into a second, 10 minute overtime and another on defender Caroline Beaty to close out the second, 10 minute overtime.
"Once it happens, you're like, 'What?, I did that. I made that save'" said Grimes, who had a game-high 18 saves. "This was tough, tiring and fun all at the same time. It's a rush. It's like, you work your butt off and then to lose it in the final seconds, it's rough. We could have calmed down more."
Sayville coach Joe Nasta said this was the most pressure Grimes had been under all season, as her counterpart, Garden City senior goalkeeper Taylor Carpentier made eight saves.
"The future is bright for her," Nasta said of Grimes. "It's clearly a great experience. She's been good all year. What more could you ask from her."