The goals came early; they came late; they came from inside; they came from outside. Some were straight-on; some were from sharp angles. Some were taken flat-footed; one was an acrobatic jump shot. Some came with careful aim; one was a no-look beauty.
“We put in new stuff every week to go with the old stuff,” Garden City attack Liam Curtin said of the varied offensive sets. “Today, everything was working.”
Curtin and Kyle Steinbach scored three goals each, Cole Dutton and Colin Hart had a pair and Trevor Yeboah-Kodie netted the jaunty jumper as Garden City cruised past John Jay Cross River, 14-4, Wednesday in a state Class B semifinal played at Adelphi’s Motamed Field. The Trojans (17-3) will face Victor for the state B title at 3 p.m. on Saturday at St. John Fisher College in Rochester.
“We were sharing the ball and creating on offense,” Trojans coach Steve Finnell said. “We don’t need any one person to dominate on offense, but Liam and Kyle were fantastic.”
Curtin produced a natural hat trick when he scored the final three goals of the first half for a 7-0 lead. He took a crisp cross-crease pass from Steinbach to convert from the doorstep with 5:45 left in the second quarter. Two minutes later, Curtin raised the bar for creativity when caught a pass in front from Dutton and fired a behind-the-head shot into the net with uncanny accuracy considering that he wasn’t even looking at the goalie. That was no accident.
“Sometimes you just know,” he said. “It’s like a third eye. It was a great pass from my best buddy, Cole Dutton, a laser pass. I practice no-look shots all the time in practice. I’ve attempted them in a game before, but this is the first time I scored.”
The Trojans had plenty of other style points. Yeboah-Kodie was a blur when he dodged past a defensemen and found some room in the middle of the field, about 20 yards away. Moving at top speed, he leapt high and fired a rocket low for a 3-0 lead early in the second quarter. “We’re very athletic and we’ve very deep on offense,” Finnell said. “We’re playing 10 guys.”
Many of them joined the Garden party. “We have so many sets and we can break a zone or a man,” said Steinbach, who scored all three down the right alley. “We ran by guys, made one more pass and just put the ball in the net.”