There were a handful of reasons for Shea Garcia to take a chance.
In the final minute of a Nassau I girls lacrosse game Friday, Garcia looked low and went high, scoring the game-winner with 44.8 seconds remaining in Manhasset’s 9-8 triumph over visiting Long Beach.
“I knew we had less than a minute left,” Garcia said. “We had to take chances.”
The opportunity was there after a feed from Maggie Beresheim, so Garcia took it. With little time left on the clock, not many more opportunities were likely. She saw a window and capitalized.
But another reason for taking the chance — perhaps a more important long-term one — is that Garcia showed her teammates what they had been missing in the first four games.
The sophomore had yet to play this season after a sprained capsule in her left foot kept her in a walking boot for about a month, she said. And even though Manhasset (5-0) boasts some of the best depth on Long Island, losing Garcia was tough.
“It’s great to get a game-winning goal out of her,” coach Danielle Gallagher said. “It shows you how much she has been missed.”
“We have plenty of weapons on attack,” said Erin Barry, who scored three goals. “But seeing Shea come back, I think that will boost her confidence coming into the next couple games.”
The teams traded goals early before a 3-0 run in the final 2:16 of the first half gave Manhasset a 6-4 advantage.
Siobhan Rafferty (four goals) and Katie Whelan scored the first two goals of the second half for Long Beach (3-5), tying the score at 6, before Manhasset’s Katie Bellucci (two goals) and Long Beach’s Carly Chernoff scored goals of their own.
Rafferty scored again off a feed from Caitlin Breglia with 9:22 remaining, but Barry responded with a score in traffic three minutes later to tie it at 8.
Six minutes later, Garcia put the game-winner past sophomore goalie Sarah Reznick (14 saves).
“I saw Maggie, she saw me,” Garcia said. “We took the chance.”