With 11 minutes remaining, Garden City thought it had taken the lead in its southeast regional Class B field hockey title game on Saturday. But officials overturned the goal.
Six minutes later, Garden City’s hopes for a state tournament trip ended when Lakeland’s Julianna Cappello scored for a 2-1 win at Patchogue-Medford High School.
Liana McDonnell scored with 20:06 to play in the first half to give Garden City a 1-0 lead. Lakeland tied it on a goal from Kelsey McCrudden 10 minutes into the second half.
“There’s nothing really left to say other than we tried our hardest,” McDonnell said. “We were on top for most of the game and it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. When they scored I really thought that we could still get in another, and when we got it in and it got called back I still had faith and I never lost faith until the whistle blew. We had corners in the last 30 seconds and we all just tried so hard, and we fought our hardest and Lakeland’s a great team and they’re lucky they came out on top.”
With the win, Lakeland advanced to the state semifinals. Lakeland has won nine straight Section I Class B titles and eight straight state Class B titles.
“It’s kind of tough, but they’re a good team, eight-time defending champs,” Garden City coach Diane Chapman said. “We gave it our all. It was a great game. Unfortunately, this wasn’t upstate, they just have to know like we said from the start ‘you have the ability to beat them, they’re beatable’ and I think we proved that today that they’re beatable. They just came on strong in the second half. You can’t hold a team down that.”
Garden City goalie Ann Sullivan made two saves. Lakeland’s Cassie Halpin had five stops.
In the final five minutes, the Trojans were awarded four straight penalty corner opportunities.
“Their defense probably didn’t play this much defense all year, a testament for how well the girls did,” Chapman said. “We had opportunities right there at the end with four corners in a row, trying, trying, trying to score. They never gave up, they left it on the field, that’s what you have to ask. Unfortunately, it just didn’t come out on our behalf.”
Garden City finishes the season as Nassau Class B and Long Island Class B Champions for the third straight year.