More so than in years past, this Garden City girls lacrosse team was all about the sum being more important than the parts.
Thanks to contributions from up and down the talented roster, the Trojans captured their second straight state Class B title with a 16-8 victory over Fayetteville-Manlius. The Trojans have won 15 state titles in program history.
Entering the season, the story surrounding Garden City was how it would cope with graduating 17 seniors. It became a nagging topic, one the players met with shrugs and answers about how they hoped to blaze their own trail.
Winning another state title to cap a 20-1 season should qualify. “I think that last year we just relied on certain people,” said senior Katherine Galzerano, a defender who will play midfield at Michigan. “This year was like a whole group experience. It felt like more of a family.”
Those seniors played a large part in last year’s state title, whereas this team was built with stellar players from all grade levels. There was experience coming back with 18 returning players, but even coach Diane Chapman admitted that several players vastly exceeded expectations.
Sophomores Liana McDonnell and Caitlin Cook started and played important roles both on the draw and the offense, and senior goalie Kaitlyn Larsson was named an All-American in her only year as the starter.
Galzerano said it was the infusion of youth that helped the team’s chemistry, as it helped players from each grade interact with ones from another.
Senior attack Jackie Brattan agreed. “In terms of players, we had amazing players last year. But I think the chemistry this year was unbeatable,” said Brattan, who will play at West Point. “Our team worked together so well. There’s a couple of girls with high stats, but the scoring is mostly really spread across the board. Our team liked to share the wealth.”
Brattan had 49 points, tied for third on the team with Sarah Kaval. Kelly George (73 points) and Jenn Medjid (90) were the team leaders.
Medjid, a member of Newsday’s All-Long Island team this season, returns next spring as a captain with Deanna Weisenburger and Catherine Conway. That trio seeks to build another title team with another new identity.
“I think any team’s goal is to get to states, but especially if you’ve been there and you’ve had the ability to experience it, you definitely want to get back there,” Chapman said.
Although Brattan won’t be back for Garden City’s shot at a third straight championship, she’s happy to have started what could be a dynasty.
“Last year it was crazy. We couldn’t believe we did it,” she said. “Then to do it again this year as a senior, to relive it, it’s awesome.”
TROJANS’ road to the championship
Nassau Class B playoffs
New Hyde Park, 17-1
Long Beach, 17-7
Long Island Championship
Eastport-South Manor, 12-6