WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - It's the 6 a.m. practices they'll remember; the summer workouts and out-of-school training sessions held by the team captains -- all the little things that enabled Garden City to go this deep into the playoffs.
For the Trojans, the season began on a brisk night last November, when for the first time in 18 years, their field hockey season concluded without at least a county title. There began the march back to prominence.
This campaign also ended shy of Garden City's goal as it lost, 3-0, to Lakeland Saturday in the Class B state regional final. But the season, the players insist, was much more than its ending.
"I walk off this field feeling nothing but pride for what we did," senior Tara DeAngelo said. "This didn't come easy for us like it had in the past. We worked for everything that got us to this point."
Dana Bozek scored twice for the Hornets (20-0), the four-time defending state champions. Four of Garden City's last five seasons have been ended by Lakeland, which is among the best teams in the country.
Bozek's first goal 4:04 in was the first the Trojans (18-1) had allowed in 13 games. And Garden City did so without its big names of the recent past. These Trojans clawed their way to 1-0 wins over Manhasset, recapturing the Nassau title, and against Miller Place for the Long Island crown.
"I was on the field last year when we lost and we knew we were graduating great players, but that pushed us," senior Kelly Tierney said. "Hopefully, this loss drives next year's team."
Lakeland withstood Garden City's pressure in the second half and added two goals. Sabrina Milone made four saves for the Trojans, who will graduate eight seniors. "They gave it their absolute all," Trojans coach Diane Chapman said, "and I can't ask for anything more."