Just how good is the Garden City boys lacrosse team?
Even with their leader in points shut out by one of the nation's best defenders, the Trojans, ranked No. 1 nationally by Inside Lacrosse, can win comfortably and in dominant fashion.
Justin Guterding had two goals and two assists and Rob Savage and Patric Berkery each had two goals for host Garden City in a 9-3 win over Manhasset Saturday in the 122nd Woodstick Classic. Garden City (13-0) has won the last three meetings of the 77-year-old rivalry and 14 of the last 17, but Manhasset leads 67-55 in the longest-running lacrosse matchup in the country.
"We feel like we have great balance this year," Garden City coach Steve Finnell said. "We're trying to put six guys on the field that people have to defend at all times and we have some good depth on the offensive end."
The Trojans led 3-0 after the first quarter and were only getting started. Liam Kennedy scored on an over-the-shoulder shot off a pass from Guterding to make it 5-0 with 6:36 to go in the second.
Ryan Norton (one goal, two assists) found Berkery for a wide-open shot with 1:52 to go in the half as Garden City took a 6-0 halftime lead, dominating possession and distributing the ball well as the Manhasset defense slowly wore down.
"It's a beautiful thing to see the offense working like that," Berkery said. "Everyone's getting touches; everyone's getting goals and assists. We're a team-oriented offense. It's not just one person running through the whole defense."
The Indians (9-4) also had several costly turnovers in the first half that prevented their defense from recovering after long possessions.
"I think we had a lot of unforced turnovers," Manhasset coach Bill Cherry said. "I mean how many times did we throw the ball away? You can't do that. I think that was the difference in the game."
Garden City did have a momentary scare when Manhasset defender Bobby Duvnjak came upfield and inadvertently collided with Trojans goalie Dan Marino with 5:08 to go in the first half. Marino (seven saves) was helped off the field but had his right ankle taped and returned in the second half.
Duvnjak shut out future Harvard teammate Devin Dwyer, Garden City's leader in points with 70, though the two did not go at it a lot throughout the game.
"Obviously I was trying to get points, but I didn't end up with any," Dwyer said. "Our offense, you could see how much firepower we have with anyone being able to score, and today the other guys did a great job."
Guterding scored his second of the game off an assist from Savage at 10:52 of the third quarter as Garden City took a 7-0 lead. Manhasset finally got on the board when a shot by Quinn Moroney, who later had an assist, dribbled over the line with 9:20 to go in the third.
The Indians scored two more goals to cut the gap to 7-3 with 3:50 to go in the third quarter but would not get any closer. Savage scored late in the third and fourth quarters for the game's final margin.