Caitlin Cook wanted to start fast. The game plan called for a widespread attack, and that was just what Cook needed to leave her mark.
The senior scored three goals and assisted another, pacing the Garden City field hockey team in its 6-0 win over host Cold Spring Harbor on Friday night in Nassau I.
In improving to 4-0 on the season, Garden City showed its ability to adapt. The Trojans played the Seahawks in last season’s Nassau Class B final, a 1-0 victory for Garden City. This time, the Trojans sought a more convincing win.
“I think we were really staying wide and deep and just spreading them out, knowing that they played a tighter game when we saw them in playoffs,” Cook said.
Cook sparked the game’s first goal with 23:23 left in the first half by sending a pass up the open field to Amanda Cerrato, who buried the shot with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Working in space allowed Garden City to push the ball forward all evening, and there was no bigger beneficiary than Cook. She scored each of her three goals in the final 14:21 of the first half, sending the Trojans into halftime with a 5-0 lead.
“I think we’re all constantly trying to push it forward,” Cook said. “Today, they were giving us a lot of space. They were playing more of an offensive game in the beginning, so it gave us space to pass around with each other. Our forwards were working really well together today.”
Grace Kelly scored once in the first half and once in the second half, giving her six goals — tied for the county lead with Carle Place’s Emiline Biggin.
A defense anchored by sophomore Sarah Killcommons gave the offense ample opportunities. Killcommons, Sydney Pappas, Olivia Kaval and Liana McDonnell in the midfield chased every pass and bottled up the scoring threats of Cold Spring Harbor (1-2). Goalkeeper Katie Mullins made one save and communicated well with her defenders.
Killcommons said the early lead allowed the defense to be more aggressive.
“We feel more confident in each other and ourselves with a lead, so we’ll take the risk to step in front of the ball instead of sitting back,” she said. “We’ll take the risky hit, rather than going to the safe pass.”
By setting the tempo from the opening whistle, Garden City notched its third shutout of the young season.
Said Cook: “To score that goal quickly and put them on their heels a little was great.”