Catherine McTiernan scored a season-high six goals to lead Garden City in a 17-5 win over Long Beach on Wednesday in a Nassau Class B semifinal at Adelphi.
(Again, if I ever start an article like that – so bland – anyone mentioned in said article has my permission to slap me.)
“It’s do-or-die time,” McTiernan said of her motivation. She scored five of her goals in a 12-3 first half. “It’s the playoffs, so we have to take every game seriously or else that’s it. We knew we had to play hard.”
Said Trojans coach Diane Chapman of the senior attack: “We know she has the ability to do those things. To see her play like that is great and it’s especially good for her to have a performance like today going into the county final.”
Alexandra Bruno added two goals and four assists and Jenna Fuchs, Krista Dampman and Catherine Dickinson each scored twice for top-seeded Garden City (13-5). Megan McDonald made three saves and Taylor Carpentier made another after subbing in midway through the second half.
The Trojans will face No. 3 Wantagh in the county final at 6 p.m. next Wednesday at Adelphi. “We are so pumped,” Fuchs said. “This is where we want to be and we took another step toward our goal… Wantagh is a great team and we expect a really competitive game.”
Jillian Piazza had two goals and Jacklyn Marry (four saves) and Elyse Stark (five) combined at goal for No. 4 Long Beach (11-7).
“We have a big game ahead of us and we wanted to show that team what we’re capable of,” McTiernan said.
Garden City faced Wantagh, a Conference II rival, in the regular season and won, 14-10, on May 3. The Trojans are after an eighth consecutive Nassau Class B championship.
“We’re really excited,” Fuchs said. “We knew we couldn’t look past this game. People have been talking about Wantagh and Manhasset, but Long Beach is a good team.”
The Trojans have outscored opponents 53-8 in the playoffs, shaking off a 13-9 loss to Manhasset to end the regular season.
To what can this turnaround (of sorts) be attributed? “I think we kind of doubted ourselves at some points,” Fuchs said. “But it’s all about team chemistry and getting each other excited and prepared for the next game. I think we’re doing a good job of that.”
… And Jenna Fuchs on McTiernan’s performance. The two are close friends: “She was awesome and I’m so proud of her.” Will you buy her an ice cream cone? “Oh yeah!” (Fuchs said that emphatically, as if she would really do it. “McT” should hold her to it. Just sayin’.)
Wantagh won its semifinal, 17-15, over No. 2 Manhasset in the earlier game.
Colleen Lovett (four goals) broke a tie at 15 with five minutes remaining, and Kaleigh Craig (four goals) created the final margin with 14 seconds left.
Brenna Connelly added three goals and Tara Basile had two goals and two assists for the Warriors (13-5). Sophia Gambitsky made nine saves in the win. “[Gambitsky] was phenomenal today,” Chapman said. “That’s a great goalie we’re going to have to face.”
Charlotte Avallone and Halle Majorana each scored three goals for Manhasset (13-5).