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Garden City field hockey suffers first loss of season in state final

Garden City defender Maggie Moran clears the ball

Garden City defender Maggie Moran clears the ball away from Burnt Lake-Ballston Hills forward Caroline Kogut during the NYSPHSAA Class B field hockey championship on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, at Centereach. Credit: George A Faella

The Garden City field hockey team was in uncharted territory Sunday morning in the state Class B championship.

The Trojans trailed for just the second time all season, and faced their largest deficit of the year, trailing by two goals at halftime. It was a hole they were unable to climb out of, as they fell to Section II’s Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 2-1, at Centereach High School.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake opened the scoring with 2 minutes, 35 seconds left in the first half when Caroline Kogut ripped a penalty stroke into the back of the cage past Mackenzie Wehrum (seven saves).

The Spartans (18-2) added to their lead with no time remaining on the second quarter clock when Maddy Connelie scored on a loose ball in front of the goal following an offensive corner.

"We weren’t playing to our ability, but the coaches knew that we could come together in the third and fourth quarter and attempt to get those goals back to win the game," forward Anastasia Menoudakos said.

Garden City (16-1) was outshot 6-0 in the first half and surrendered six penalty corners.

"Burnt Hills had a lot of strong players on their defensive unit, and made it tough on our girls to break through," Garden City coach Lauren Lavelle said. "We are used to going up the middle and having options there, but we had to adjust, use our width and come down the sides of the field instead."

With just under 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter, Blakely Trapani found the ball on her stick on the right side and passed it over to Menoudakos in the middle for the goal. It was the first shot on goal for the Trojans.

"All of us wanted it so bad and it wasn’t just me who got that goal, it was all of us," Menoudakos said. "Even though we lost, we did this as a team, and we got here. Hopefully the girls can come back next year and win it all."

Menoudakos and Trapani, both seniors, played their final match for Garden City, but the memories they made will last forever.

"I’m really going to cherish spending time with everyone, coming together every single day and playing this sport," Menoudakos said.

"I am so proud of my team and our efforts. I can’t thank our coaches enough for developing us and putting us in the position to where we were today," Trapani said. "I built a lot of friendships and have developed great relationships with these girls. This is my fourth year on the team, so it’s hard to walk away."

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