The legendary girls lacrosse coach at Garden City retired last year. Her successor debuted on Monday, and he was a familiar face. In fact, he was just here roaming the sideline at the home of the Trojans on Saturday, leading the football team to a fifth straight Nassau championship.
"It’s always hard when you take over for a legend," Dave Ettinger said about replacing Diane Chapman, who won 10 state titles in 18 years. "I did it in football [replacing Tom Flatley], and it’s not an easy thing to do. And taking over for her and the success that she had, which was incredible, is definitely a difficult task.
"But we’re going to try as hard as we can to keep a good product out on the field."
He’s off to a good start.
Garden City showed up minus around 14 players out on quarantine and still cruised past Farmingdale, 16-3, in a Conference I power league opener.
"I think the girls that got their opportunity did a great job," said Ettinger, who expects those missing players back on Wednesday.
Meghan Rode, coming off two ACL tears, made an impressive debut. The junior contributed four goals and an assist in her first varsity game. Sydney Pappas also contributed four goals. Alex Hopkins scored three.
"We all just work hard at practice every day, and we have a lot of younger girls that can step up," Rode said. "So it’s easy to play with everyone because everyone can just switch in and out with each other."
Pappas took a feed out front from Rode and scored just 19 seconds into the game. Then Pappas scored from in close on a free-position shot for a 2-0 lead.
"I think not having [a season] last year, we’re just going to want to work 10 times harder and want to make up for what we lost," Pappas said.
Olivia Escoffery followed with a goal, and Rode found the net twice. It was 5-0 after just 8:02.
Erin Hickey then scored her first of two for Farmingdale. But by halftime, it was 11-1.
"We’ve only got five seniors on the team," Dalers coach Shari Campbell said. "To start out against Garden City, who’s just a perennial powerhouse, would be difficult for anybody at the beginning, especially a team that’s super young, coming up from Conference II after 2019."