Emily Gaven had watched the momentum shift throughout the course of the game, and with Syosset set for another opportunity to tie the score in a man-up situation, she focused on nothing but the ball.
The senior goalkeeper for the Garden City girls lacrosse team stared down Kendall Halpern with 10:12 left in the game just as the Syosset midfielder was readying for a free position attempt.
Gaven saved the quick shot, allowing Garden City to kill the penalty. Ella Heaney and Caitlin Cook then tacked on insurance goals, as the host Trojans defeated a resilient Syosset team, 13-11, in Nassau Conference I on Saturday morning. Cook also scored the go-ahead goal with 13:38 left.
“I’m just seeing the momentum change, and I think that’s what really drove the whole game,” said Gaven, who made seven saves. “The first five minutes, they had it. The next 15 minutes, we had it. Then they came back in the beginning of the second half.”
A shot at a comeback had looked bleak for Syosset (3-1), which trailed 10-5 at halftime on the strength of a 6-0 run which featured five different scorers by Garden City (2-0). That coincided with a lopsided first-half draw total of 11-5 in the Trojans’ favor.
So, Syosset won the first four draws of the second half and scored on each possession, as Rebecca Korn (four goals) and Halpern (three) traded strikes for the Braves. Trailing 10-9, Syosset equalized on Casey Concannon’s free position.
“I think they were really pushing for it and trying to come back, and we were just not clicking,” Cook said. “But we pulled it together.”
Fired up after Cook’s go-ahead goal and Gaven’s key save, Garden City settled to retake control. Halpern scored off one of Kayla Gulmi’s four assists with 1:01 left to make it 13-11, but there wasn’t enough time for another comeback.
Erin Healy, Kara Metzler, Emma Ruckh, Lisa Garizio and Amanda Cerrato held strong in front of Gaven, preventing any more magic from the Braves. Cook, Sarah Mackey and Liana McDonnell each had three goals.
When the momentum shifted, they took it back.