CORTLAND N.Y. — Win the draw, win the championship.
Katie Muldoon settled into her routine early with eight consecutive draw controls and hustled down the lacrosse field to help lead Garden City with two goals and three assists as her team scored seven straight through the first 10 minutes.
Muldoon added three goals later on and Garden City beat Yorktown, 16-5, to win its first state Class B championship since 2012 Saturday at SUNY Cortland.
“This is a dream come true for our team,” said Muldoon, one of 17 seniors. “We never got to experience this and this is the opportunity of a lifetime. We really wanted to get the momentum going, that’s how our team works. We get momentum, so if we have a fall through on defense, we still have a comfortable lead and can pull through.
“Our team chemistry, it’s been working since day one of this season and it really showed. We had heart this game and we wanted to win. We were hitting our cutters and getting open for each other and working as a team.”
The Trojans (21-1) had possession for most of the first half and went on a dizzying 7-0 run through the first 10 minutes behind quick passes, clean cuts and accurate shots. Muldoon and Kerry Defliese scored two goals apiece in that span and Jackie Brattan, Michaela Bruno and Jenn Medjid each added one. Defliese had three goals and Brooke McDaid added a goal and four assists.
Muldoon scored on a free position to go ahead 9-1 with eight minutes until halftime, but Yorktown (17-6) fought back two minutes later with four straight to make it 9-5 at the half.
Garden City mirrored its fast start and quashed a Yorktown comeback attempt with another 7-0 run to open the second half. Muldoon scored less than two minutes into the second and again to go up 15-5 with 10:49 left and her team held strong for the win.
“I’m just so happy for the girls,” Garden City coach Diane Chapman said. “The senior leadership on this team is outstanding, they elevate everyone around them with their play.
“I thought we did a great job from start to finish. We know they’re going to score, but you can’t be comfortable with a lead against a team like this. They did everything we asked them to do this game and executed amazingly.”
Cradling the championship plaque in her arms, Defliese said unselfishness and movement on offense were the keys in her team’s early run and added that raising the trophy is the ultimate reward after a long season.
“It took a lot of work to get here,” Defliese said. “We pushed for one another. It was a little surprising that we kept on scoring and scoring, but we just had to push and follow through. It’s been an amazing feeling to be here and have the trophy in our hands.”
McDaid added that the season felt special from the beginning and the feeling of being a state champion lives up to the hype.
“I’m just so proud of everyone.” McDaid said. “My emotions are so high right now. I knew we could do it.”