ENDWELL, N.Y. — There was one final gasp for the Garden City field hockey team.
The Trojans earned a timely penalty corner and trailed Lakeland by a goal in the closing seconds of the state Class B final yesterday.
But the final shot was tipped wide to the right of the net as Lakeland held off Garden City, 1-0, in the championship at Maine-Endwell High School. It is the fourth straight time Lakeland (20-0-2) has beaten Garden City (16-3) in a ‘B’ state final, and the Hornets’ eighth straight state title.
“They have nothing to be ashamed of. They left it all out on the field,” said Trojans coach Diane Chapman about her team. “You have to be proud of them. I thought we played a great game against them.”
Indeed. Lakeland, which has not lost a game to a state team since 2008, dominated possession in the first half. But Garden City goalkeeper Ann Sullivan was spectacular with five first-half saves. She added one more save in the second half and was named to the all-tournament team.
Lakeland finally broke through when Mia Lennon’s corner pass found Cameron Lischinsky, who beat Sullivan to her lower right side to give Lakeland a 1-0 lead with 5:27 left in the first half. Lakeland outscored its opponents 125-5 this season.
“I got such a great ball from Mia, it was easy to tip in,” said Lischinsky, who will play softball at LIU Post next year. “Garden City keeps coming back. They’re a great team.”
A great team which played a great second half. Garden City heeded the halftime message from Chapman about playing to win, instead of playing not to lose. The Trojans outshot Lakeland, 4-3, but could not get one past the Lakeland defense and goalkeeper Cassie Halpin (two saves).
“All we’ve been saying this is their time to lose and this is our time to beat them,” said Garden City’s Liana McDonnell, also named to the all-tournament team. “We wanted to get a goal in the first half to set the tone and clearly we didn’t. But we still fought to the very end.”
Although the Trojans have lost to Lakeland four straight years, it doesn’t detract from winning four consecutive Long Island Class B crowns, and advancing to four straight state finals.
“No one should be upset because Lakeland is an amazing team,” McDonnell said. “Hopefully next year we are able to come back [to states], and it will be our year.”