Garden City’s early deficit in the Long Island Class B girls lacrosse championship didn’t sit right with Kelly George.
But that didn’t mean anything needed to change. The Trojans don’t often find themselves trailing, but in a way, that helped as they stared at a three-goal deficit in the first half. They didn’t rush or push. They stuck to the plan and found the open spaces, which George used to break through as Garden City beat Eastport-South Manor, 12-6, at Adelphi Sunday.
“Honestly we were just taking our time,” George said. “Patience is key here. We’re just looking for the open girl.”
With the game tied at 6 with 20 minutes remaining, George had the ball. She put it in the back of the cage on a free position during an eight-goal Garden City streak. After the 5-2 deficit, the Trojans ended the game on a 10-1 run.
“It was just there, so I stepped up for the eight meter, and I was able to get it past the goalkeeper,” said George, who ended the game with three consecutive assists.
Celia Concannon scored less than four minutes later, and Jackie Brattan netted goals with 10:39 and 9:31 left as Garden City (18-1) extended its lead to 10-6.
“We haven’t been down in a really important game like this, but it makes us stronger for the games that are going to come up that are going to be just as tough or tougher,” Brattan said.
Kaitlyn Larsson’s five second-half saves led a defense that didn’t allow a goal to ESM (15-2) after 1:17 left in the first half. The lockdown gave the offense the breathing room to operate aggressively.
“Our defense was on fire today,” Brattan said. “I don’t think there’s an offense that can beat our defense.”
Caitlin Cook, who scored Garden City’s first and last goals, said the defense’s pressure on the ball made the offensive run and the continuation of the team’s state title defense possible with many different contributors. The Trojans play Yorktown in a state semifinal at 9 a.m. Friday at SUNY Cortland.
“It feels great to have lost 17 seniors last year, learned so much from them and then be able to relive what they did,” Cook said.
That experience helped when the clock was ticking because each player had an idea of what needed to be done.
“You’ve got to come back,” George said. “It’s do or die.”