A battle of reigning county champions did not disappoint.
Sixty minutes were simply not enough in deciding a winner between the top two seeds in Nassau Class B field hockey.
With just over two minutes remaining in the first 10-minute, seven-on-seven sudden victory overtime period, Garden City was awarded a corner. Sheila Mullins took a pass from Blakely Trapani, drove toward the goal, and scored to propel top-seeded Garden City past No. 2 Manhasset, 2-1, in the Nassau B final Thursday night at Berner Middle School in Massapequa.
"I was a little nervous when I got the ball on my stick," Mullins said. "I wasn’t sure whether to make the move around the person or pass it, but I decided to make the move and shoot."
When the ball entered the back of the cage, the Trojans stormed the field and had a massive celebration of hugs and high-fives inside the Manhasset goal.
The Trojans improved to 14-0 and have outscored their opponents 54-6 this season. The defending Nassau Class A champions won their ninth straight county title and 15th in the last 16 years (2006-2021), according to Newsday records. Garden City was classified as an ‘A’ school in the COVID-altered spring season because it was above the allotted enrollment but moved back to Class B this fall.
Manhasset entered as the reigning Class B champions after winning the county title in April.
Lily Klimuszko opened the scoring with 8:32 left in the third quarter as she dove to her right and fired towards goal for Manhasset (12-4). Garden City answered just a minute later as Trapani got ahead of the Manhasset defense, stickhandled around the goalkeeper and backhanded one into the cage to tie the score at 1. The goal was the 11th of the season for the senior forward.
Mackenzie Wehrum made eight saves for the Trojans and Grace Miller had four for Manhasset in the team’s third meeting of the season. Garden City also got the best of Manhasset in the first two matches, winning, 1-0, on Sept. 21 and 2-1 on Oct. 13.
"Of course you know their best players, where their strengths and weaknesses are, but beating a team three times is not easy," Trapani said. "Manhasset is our rival and we really wanted the win tonight."
The Trojans will face Harborfields in the Long Island B final on Sunday at 11 a.m. at Centereach High School.
"We are back. Last year was a fluke and we are going to win this year," said Trapani about her team losing in the Long Island A title game in the spring. "It’s been in our dreams and in our eyes. It’s so close and we are ready for it."