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Something different: An Interview w/ the Managers

So different, I even switched the font.

A few minutes before Ward Melville and Garden City squared off Saturday, I made my way over to the scorer's table to bug them for a copy of the roster. After introducing ourselves and the etc., the two Garden City managers asked (jokingly, I think) how come I don't interview them. I said that I would if they were willing to stick around after the game. I was serious. Why not give some shine to the kids in the trenches; those unheralded warriors who chart those numbers, spot those saves, and see those assists in traffic? And certainly after they did a good job hooking me up with the names and stats during the game. They took me up on that offer and what transpired following the Trojans' 5-0 win was a 15-minute interview/conversation full of randomness.

 Meet... Barbara Sullivan

She's been the field hockey team's manager for two years. When not working the book, the senior plays basketball, lacrosse and soccer for Garden City.

Nickname: Babs

What's it like working with the field hockey team? “They're a great team, so following 'em throughout the year is fun. My best friends are Mikaela Rix, Caroline Tarzian, Gabrielle Nesi. Being able to watch them play is fun.

On being a part of the school's lacrosse dynasty: “It's amazing. I've been on the team since freshman year and we've won three straight. Every year it gets better and better.”

What's the GC experience like, being involved with teams that win so regularly: “It's crazy. Garden City is one of the top athletic programs in the state, and maybe the country. We have a winning tradition and we know how to win. Plus Chappy (coach Diane Chapman) does a great job with both teams.” – At the time, Chapman was horsing around with her young nephews – “While dealing with babies.”

As we approach the holiday season, don't you feel it would be nice to ease up and let one of those upstate teams get a title? “I think the field hockey team did that last year.” Garden City lost in overtime in the state semifinals. “But for lacrosse? No!”

Do you hate the upstate teams? “No,” she said with a laugh. “I like competitive teams and they get competitive up there, but we've gotta win. You want to win. You're not gonna give anyone anything.”

How big was the Ward Melville victory?Gah, huge. (yes, it sounded like “gah”). They lost last year with two All-Americans, Eleni [Andromidas] and Mariah [Pewarski], and they come back next year and people aren't sure what they're gonna do – Newsday predicted they were gonna lose – and they win, 5-0. They're great. [Blogger/writer's note: No such prediction was made, at least not by me. Sullivan then said Tarzian said. Uh-uh. I've never been wrong about anything, ever. And I try to keep that streak alive by not making predictions.]

Do you hate Newsday? “No! I'm a loving person. I don't hate anybody.”

Who's your favorite player on the team? “I'm gonna go with Caroline [Tarzian].” What about Mikaela Rix, your other best friend? “Uhh... I'm just gonna go with Caroline.”

So that begged the question: Do you hate Mikaela? “No!” again with the giggles. “Maybe a little... just kidding.” (Note to Mikaela: Keep your best friends close and Barbara even closer.)

Meet... Megan McDonald

She's a junior at Garden City and, when not on the sidelines at the field hockey games, she plays for the lacrosse team.

Nickname: “Good-looking!” That was a self-given sobriquet, so I'm giving her M&M. “I'm cool with that,” she said.

Aside: +1 to McDonald's parents for going with the standard M-E-G-A-N. Too often I've seen people complicate the spelling. No offense to anyone who's got the extra “A” or an “H” or even an “O” - yes, I've seen one of those – in theirs, but it's much easier with the phonetic-friendly version.

What was the game like from your perspective? “It was inspirational. I felt fired up and wanted to get out there and win, just like they did.”

Between the lacrosse and field hockey teams, do you guys just win too much? “No. There's never too many wins. You can only win or lose, and it never feels good to lose. So we want to win everything every time.”

But how about those teams upstate? Before she could answer, Sullivan interjected: “I think they're upset,” she said of the team's Garden City has faced in state competition. “They are not happy with us.”

Back to McDonald....

On Catherine McTiernan's three-goal performance: “She's always good and she's been scoring a lot this year,” she said of McTiernan, who after Saturday's performance is Nassau's leader with eight goals. “She's a great player. She's got the skills.”

Favorite player: “Catherine Dickinson. She took a hit to the face [Friday] and still came out here to support the team.”

(Dickinson got hit by a ball in practice and suffered a broken nose. She's expected to be out a few weeks. I spoke to her before the game and she seemed to be in good spirits, though... I also told her there'd be a Garden City item in the “Field Hockey Notes” section of Sunday's paper. There was not. We had to cut it because of space restraints – in part because the game story was almost a full page. It was pretty much about how the team, despite losing 13 seniors, has kept on keepin' on and it was a shout-out to some of the girls who have emerged to help the team maintain its level. Dickinson was one of them. I'll try to get that item into next week's paper or perhaps expound on it with something more in-depth.)

Sullivan interjected once more: “You know who played great today? Lauren Engelke. With Catherine out, she started and stepped up in a big game like this. She played great defense.”

And there you have it, stuff from the interview with the managers that was fit to post. And it was fun. Kudos to Babs and M&M.

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