Tori Ottomanelli of Garden City watches her shot go into...

Tori Ottomanelli of Garden City watches her shot go into the net winning the game for Garden City in overtime against Manhasset during the girls Woodstock Classic lacrosse game on Saturday, April 20, 2023 in Manhasset. Credit: Dawn McCormick

A classic Woodstick Classic in girls lacrosse Saturday had come to this on Manhasset’s turf — tie score, Garden City possession in the offensive zone out of a timeout, 28.4 seconds left in the first three-minute sudden-death overtime session.

Then Kyle Finnell sent the ball from low on the right side out to Tori Ottomanelli. The junior midfielder made her move off a pick by Finnell and whistled a shot past Hannah Rubin with 5.5 on the scoreboard clock.

Cue the Trojans’ joy.

Garden City 9, Manhasset 8.

“Obviously, it’s a super-competitive rivalry every time we play them,” Ottomanelli said after finishing her hat trick. “They give us their best and we give them our best as well. It’s really just an amazing feeling, especially for our seniors. This is their last Woodstick. Being able to win for them was just amazing.”

Three-time defending Nassau Class C champion Manhasset (5-2, 5-2) had rallied to tie it at 8-8 against the three-time defending Nassau Class B champion Trojans (8-1, 5-0).

“It’s a huge win,” Finnell said. “They’re a great team.”

Manhasset had trailed 2-1 during the first quarter on Finnell’s second goal, 6-4 at halftime and 8-5 with 5:41 left in the third. And it lost USC-bound standout Mia LoPinto to a right knee injury shortly thereafter.

“My postgame speech to the team was that I’m extremely proud of the way that the girls fought back,” coach Jackie Williams said. “We were down a little bit in the beginning of the game and we had one of our senior captain attackers most likely tear her ACL. And these girls just fought hard the entire game.”

But Garden City also persevered after yielding the tying goal.

“Any time you beat Manhasset, it means a lot,” coach Dave Ettinger said.

Not just to these two girls teams. The Garden City-Manhasset boys Woodstick Classic followed Saturday night.

“You walk down Main Street, they’re all hanging the Garden City lacrosse flags,” Trojans senior goalie Niamh Pfaff said. “So it’s kind of a bigger purpose when you’re playing.”

Ottomanelli and Finnell ultimately made the play come to life that was laid out in the OT timeout.

“It kind of worked,” Ettinger said. “That’s what we asked for.”

It almost didn’t get to that point.

Ottomanelli scored off a free position play, and Manhasset was looking up from the 8-5 hole.

“I had faith,” Williams said.

Her players began to reward it.

Nicole Giannakopoulos and Taylor Gordon each scored their second goal, both in the final four minutes of the third, cutting it to one. Then Shea Panzik scored her second, tying it with 9:20 left in the fourth on a free position shot.

Manhasset had a chance to go ahead with a little under three minutes to go on another free position play. It was Pfaff vs. Holly Newman.

“I’m kind of thinking I’ve got no other option but to save it,” Pfaff said. “The team played such good defense that entire second half. The first half, too. It was my turn to do my part in that.”

Newman went low. But Pfaff indeed did her part, making one of her six saves.

Finnell then had a chance to win it on yet another free position situation. The call came with 7.6 seconds remaining in regulation. The junior attack took her shot, but Rubin made one of her seven saves.

“That was a tough one,” Finnell said. “But that’s all right. We ended up winning in overtime, which is all that matters.”


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