Last June, Garden City was on the field warming up for the state Class B championship game, while Farmingdale celebrated its first-ever state title in Cortland. Amid the celebration former Farmingdale head coach Tracy Weiner called out to Garden City’s Diane Chapman and said something along the lines of: "Now I know why you guys do this every year."
A couple of hours later Garden City completed a Long Island sweep and won its fourth-straight Class B title.
Today those two teams were back on the field together, for a Nassau Conference I game at Garden City. Farmingdale jumped out to an early two-goal lead but it was host Garden City that won it at the end, taking a four-goal lead before halftime before winning 18-15.
Again leading the way for Garden City was Caroline Tarzian (six goals, four assists) and Shannon Mangini (six goals, one assist). Mangini was well-known coming into the season, she was an honorable mention All-American in 2009, but Tarzian has taken many oponents by surprise.
"She came on really strong for us in the playoffs last year," said GC coach Diane Chapman. "She kind of flew under the radar. We knew what we had in here… Now people read the box scores and I think they’ll key in on her. She’s just a fabulous lacrosse player."
Garden City also saw big performances from Mikaela Rix (three goals), Catherine Dickinson (two goals), Paige Logan (one goal), Barbara Sullivan (two assists), Shannon Defliese (defense) and Kelly Weis (17 saves).
Said Chapman: "It's been a great team effort, no matter what people are stepping up and playing phenomenally."
The loss is the second in three games for Farmingdale, which hadn’t lost since the 2008 state championship game before Saturday. Garden City was in a similar position last year. After a record-breaking winning streak, GC lost an early-season overtime game to Manhasset, then suffered some tough late-season losses to Farmingdale, Northport and Massapequa.
"Last year was a big transitional season," Chapman said. "I think those losses helped us come playoff time. It took us a while to figure out what we were doing last year. This year, girls did a great job from day one working hard and trying to be cohesive as a team."
Mel Raso scored six goals and one assist for Farmingdale, which has some tough road games ahead of it, but remains the best Class A team in Nassau. The loss probably will keep Farmingdale from repeating as Conference I champion, but has no bearing on the Dalers quest in Class A. After all, Farmingdale defeated Garden City 15-9 last season, but the Trojans still won the state title.
Said Chapman: "They’re a great team. When you play a team like that it goes back and forth. You can’t feel comfortable until the last whistle blows. They lost a lot of players from last year but they just reload. It’s a great program."