Garden City boys lacrosse teammates celebrate after their 7-2 win...

Garden City boys lacrosse teammates celebrate after their 7-2 win over host Manhasset High School in the 140th Woodstick Classic on Saturday, April 20, 2024. Credit: James Escher

There were 48 physical and hotly contested minutes in the annual matchup between the Garden City and Manhasset boys lacrosse programs on Saturday night. But Luke Cascadden needed only 13 seconds of it to completely shape the outcome.

The Garden City junior won the faceoff at the start of the fourth quarter and raced for the goal. With one quick slant, he found himself with a clear path and an open shot. And when his bid hit the back of the net with 11:47 left, the Trojans had a three-goal lead and all the momentum in what became a 7-2 Woodstick Classic win at Manhasset’s Ed Walsh Stadium.

The Trojans won the 140th meeting between the teams — the longest-running public school lacrosse rivalry in the nation — and narrowed Manhasset’s overall lead to 76-64.

The first two quarters belonged almost entirely to the Trojans as they built a 4-1 halftime lead. The third quarter was a different story as Manhasset kept them off the board and pared the margin to two. That’s when Cascadden made the biggest play of the game.

“We needed to show them that we’d have the fourth quarter,” he said. “It set the tone. When I score off a faceoff, it charges the team up. Everyone wants to score one.”

And it didn’t take long.

Carson Kraus, a natural righthander, went lefthanded from about 8 yards 1:32 later for a 6-2 lead and Garden City’s masterful control of possession took over from there.

Kraus and Andrew Ottomanelli both scored twice and Dan Medjid and Charlie Koester added a goal each.

Garden City’s team defense also was something to behold. It seemed as if every member of the unit had a big play or two as the Trojans prevented Manhasset (8-3) from getting quality shots. Manhasset took 14 shots, but goalie Denis Fargione needed to make only three saves.

“We tried to force them to make tough shots and we’re deep on defense,” defenseman Matt Kephart said. “We had so many guys contribute.”

Standards are high for the two-time defending state Class B champions, and though the Trojans’ record is an enviable 8-2, they weren’t feeling especially satisfied going in.

“Before the game, Matt told us, ‘It doesn’t matter what the season’s been like; you win against Manhasset and it sets up the rest of your season,’  ” Ottomanelli said. “A win in this game sends a message to everyone.”

Kephart also was the one who provided the last bit of icing on the win. He forced a turnover, sprinted down the right sideline and found Kraus open in front in the last minute for the final goal.

“I locked eyes with him,” Kraus said. “He knew and I knew. It was unspoken, but we both knew what was going to happen.”

Manhasset’s Luca Petruccelli assisted on a first-quarter goal by Mikey Mondiello and scored the lone goal of the third quarter to cut the margin to 4-2. Goalie Matthew Im made 14 saves for Manhasset.

“This is a huge rivalry game and it’s against a great team like Manhasset,” Garden City coach Steve Finnell said. “Cascadden’s play was huge. He has great speed and he made the right play at the right time. After they held us to nothing in the third quarter, it was a big momentum swing.”


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