Emily Clarke was opportunistic -- a bit fortunate, too -- to be in the right spot at the precise moment, and perfectly positioned to collect a carom and fire it in for a putback goal.
She was again for her next.
And on the next.
"Some of it was instinct and reading where the ball is headed" the sophomore said of her hat trick in the Nassau Class B field hockey final. "And I was a little lucky."
Luck, it's been said, is the residue of design. Garden City long ago designed a field hockey dynasty, and Clarke applied her touches Monday, leading the top-seeded Trojans over No. 3 Cold Spring Harbor, 4-0, to win a second straight county title at Adelphi.
"To score three goals and help us get a championship is an honor," said Clarke, who matched her career high. "It's an unbelievable feeling."
But not an unfamiliar one. Garden City captured its 20th Nassau title in 21 years, and did so in fashion. The Trojans (15-1) controlled possession and drew 20 penalty corners. Also not unusual for them.
"A winning tradition has been established here," senior Morgayne Rix said, "so it's a tremendous feeling of pride knowing you've helped uphold it."
Garden City, the defending L.I. champ, faces Rocky Point on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Adelphi.
Clarke put the Trojans on the board 5:55 in, scoring on a putback of a shot that deflected to her off an opponent's stick. Devon Heaney made it 2-0 five minutes later. Clarke scored again three seconds before halftime, rifling in a rebound off a kick save from just above the stroke line. Her third goal, with 13:54 left, came on a nifty reverse chip from the left post . . . off a rebound.
Kylie Tsotsos made 16 saves for Cold Spring Harbor (10-5).
"Emily's smart and small and always gets herself in good positions," goalie Sabrina Milone said. "She does it so often in practice, it's nice to see it against other teams."
Isabel McKeown and Michaela Bruno skillfully moved the ball in transition, and Rix and Shannon Tierney led a pressure defense that held the Seahawks to one shot. The Trojans have outscored opponents 76-2.
"Most people aren't lucky enough to win one championship," said McKeown, a senior. "To be part of this kind of run is not something we ever take for granted."