Garden City’s Carson Kraus took the biggest shot of the Trojans’ boys lacrosse season. And his aim was true.
An incredibly taut Nassau Class B championship game between the Trojans and Calhoun entered the final minutes with the score tied and Garden City working its offense for a chance at a game-winner. Stevie Finnell found Kraus with a pass in the center of the field, about 15 yards from the goal mouth. And though the Trojans had been getting off shots at much closer range during the contest, the junior midfielder saw an opening.
His shot hit the turf at Shuart Stadum once and found the net with 1:48 to play, the deciding goal in Garden City’s 7-6 victory.
“I was just following with the rhythm, watching where the defense was helping down too much and leaving me open, waiting for that perfect time,” Kraus said. “Then, kind of, nobody played me and I thought I had it. So I took the shot.”
The goal, however, was not the final act of the drama. Calhoun went a man up with a shot tie it with 39.3 seconds left. The Colts’ Jake Lewis who’d already scored three goals in a sensational performance, made a bid to knot the score with about 10 seconds left. The goal however was invalidated on a crease violation because he’d made an impermissible dive and the Trojans were able to run out the clock.
Asked if he’d been left holding his breath in the moment before the violation call, Garden City coach Steve Finnell praised Lewis as “super-talented” before finishing “the answer to the question is ‘yes.’”
Garden City (15-4) is county champion for the third straight year and 24th time overall, according to Newsday records. It begins its quest to repeat as state champion with Saturday’s Long Island Class B title game against West Islip at Stony Brook’s LaValle Stadium. The Trojans will be seeking their 19th Island crown.
Stevie Finnell had two goals in addition to the assist on the game-winner and Andrew Ottomanelli and James Paisley each had two goals for Garden City. Trojans goalie Denis Fargione made nine saves — four in the final quarter and two on point-blank shots with 3:25 to play — and was named championship game MVP.
Jayden Finkelstein scored two goals, Ryan Menghi won 13 of 17 faceoffs and goalie Mark Restivo made 12 saves for Calhoun (15-4).
Garden City led 5-4 in the third quarter until Lewis whirled through its defense and put in a shot to tie it. Ottomanelli scored the first goal of the fourth quarter with 9:24 left on a feed from Henry Gibbons for a 6-5 lead, but Lewis tied it again on a shot as he went to the ground at the end of another foray through the Trojans with 5:22 left
Fargione’s two quick saves came seconds apart and set up the possession for Finnell to find Krause for the go-ahead score.
“I really had to just stay composed and tell myself ‘one more stop,’” Fargione said. “That’s been our mojo the whole season.”