Garden City made it clear from the opening whistle. The Trojans weren’t going to walk off the field without a championship.
Top-seeded Garden City scored the first five goals en route to a 14-6 victory over No. 2 South Side in the girls lacrosse Class B championship at Bethpage High School Thursday.
"It’s exactly what we needed," senior Sydney Pappas said. "We knew we had to get off to a big start and keep it going. We couldn’t let the other team get back and they didn’t."
Garden City (13-2) plays West Babylon (13-4) in the Long Island Class B championship at Bethpage High School Saturday at noon after winning its first county title since 2017.
Alexandra Hopkins led the charge with two of her three goals over the opening seven minutes as the Trojans took a 7-3 lead into halftime. Hopkins also had an assist.
"We really wanted this," Hopkins said. "We wanted this for the last few years now and it’s just amazing to get our name on the [champions] board again."
Garden City didn’t let up in the second half, scoring three of the first four goals of the period, and taking a 10-4 lead five minutes into the half.
"We were just trying to play smart and make good decisions," coach Dave Ettinger said. "That’s kind of been our philosophy and let the game come to us and I think we did a really good job at possessing the ball and finishing those opportunities early."
Meghan Rode had a goal and four assists and Pappas had three goals and an assist. Maddie O’Connor, Caitlin McNaboe and Angie Suau each had two goals and Marie Cacciabaudo had a goal an assist for Garden City.
"Just knowing how each other plays individually," Hopkins said, "collectively we play as a great team."
Emily Iacobellis and Mia Delmond each had two goals and Sydney Rathjen had a goal and an assist for South Side (12-4).
With the chance for a Long Island championship ahead, the players are relying on the words of Ettinger, who is also a Long Island championship-winning coach with Garden City’s football team.
"[Coach Ettinger] has said all season, ‘The best feeling is winning the last game of the year,’" Pappas said. "And we’ve told ourselves every game of the year we have to keep fighting and finish this off with an LIC."
"I think West Babylon is going to see what we have," Hopkins said. "And they are a good team, it’s going to be tough competition, but we’ll be ready for them."