Garden City had watched its five-goal lead against Section V’s Victor dwindle to one in the final 10 minutes. But the Trojans are used to games coming down to the wire.
After a turnover with 41.6 seconds left, Garden City looked to its defense. Victor’s Sam Gotham fired a shot, but it deflected off defenseman Tristan Mullahey with four seconds left. By the time the scramble for the loose ball was over, the horn had sounded and Garden City escaped with a 9-8 win to claim its second straight state Class B boys lacrosse title on Sunday at Hofstra.
“This was our 10th one-goal game of the year,” goalie Denis Fargione said. “We’ve been in that situation before and knew we just needed to stay composed and make one more stop.”
Garden City struggled to win possessions early on as Victor’s Sam Ricci was dominant on faceoffs. Fargione (11 saves) was instrumental in getting the Trojans the ball, making three saves in the first quarter.
“It felt like we were on the ropes early,” coach Steve Finnell said. “We didn’t have the ball much and [Victor’s] guys were flying around. But Cole Webber, Owen Wuchte, Blake Cascadden and Bryan Boccafola all did a fantastic job to stop them.”
Once the Trojans went on the attack, they were unstoppable. Finnell’s son, Stevie, scored twice in the first half, propelling Garden City to a 5-2 halftime lead. He scored again in the third quarter for a 7-3 lead.
After yet another save from Fargione, the Trojans ran a perfect fast break that started with Andrew Ottomenelli scooping a long pass and getting it to Wuchte. Wuchte took the pass and whipped it to Jack Archer, who found Carson Kraus in front of the net for a goal that gave Garden City an 8-4 lead with 3:37 left in the third.
“We work on our transition game so much,” Archer said. “It’s great that we got to pull it off like that on this stage.”
Kraus scored again off a pass from Cascadden 19 seconds into the fourth quarter before Victor (19-3) answered with four straight goals.
Archer had two goals and an assist, Henry Gibbons had a goal and two assists and Tommy Esposito added a goal. It’s the ninth state title in program history for Garden City (18-4).
“We lost some guys coming into this season,” Stevie Finnell said. “I think we were probably the team to beat and I don’t think a lot of people thought we could do it again this year. To experience it again is special.”