Garden City wins the Nassau Class B girls lacrosse final...

Garden City wins the Nassau Class B girls lacrosse final at Adelphi University on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

The Garden City girls lacrosse team played arguably the toughest schedule in the country this season. Still with that, it only lost one game and when a trophy was at stake on Wednesday night, their battle-tested lineup was ready for the championship test.

Top-seeded Garden City defeated No. 2 Long Beach, 9-2, in the Nassau Class B girls lacrosse final at Adelphi. Garden City dominated possession and when Long Beach had chances to create offense, the stout Garden City defense combined with goalie Niamh Pfaff and her four saves didn’t allow many quality scoring opportunities.

Garden City (18-1) advances to play West Islip (11-6) in the Long Island Class B championship/Southeast Regional final at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at Longwood. Long Beach finished at 10-8.

“Our goal is to win the last game of the season, which we got to last year and hopefully we’ll have a different result,” Pfaff said. “This is our first major milestone toward getting back to it, so we’re definitely not done yet.”

Garden City won its fourth straight Nassau Class B championship and 23rd county title in program history. Garden City reached the state final last spring before falling to Victor, 8-6. The year before, Garden City’s season ended with a 6-5 loss in six overtimes to Westhampton in the Long Island Class B final.

“Last year we had the taste,” senior defender Mabel Overbeck said. “We were right there. We were in the state finals and we came up short by two goals, so I think this team is ready. We know what we need to do to get there, we just need to execute and I think we’re ready.”

Garden City has won 15 state titles in 27 years of a state championship being played in New York. But it failed to win any of the last four state championship tournaments, the longest stretch in that 27-year span, with the last state title coming in 2017.

“It’s definitely inspiring with all those great teams we’ve had in this program in the past and we want to get back to where those great teams have been,” senior defender Emily Romeo said. “We want to win and we want to leave our mark as seniors as state champions.”

Garden City utilized a balanced offensive approach with six goal scorers on Wednesday. Averie Smith had three goals, Kyle Finnell added two goals and Tori Ottomanelli added a goal and an assist.

“Kyle is a big focus of every team we play but we think one of our strengths this year is our depth,” coach Dave Ettinger said. “You can’t just rely on stopping one or two of our girls because it has been balanced all year.”

Garden City, which won the Conference I regular-season title, hasn’t lost a game to a Long Island team this season, including strong non-league victories over Ward Melville and Bayport-Blue Point. Garden City also challenged itself against top teams from other parts of the Northeast with the lone loss coming in a 10-9 game to Darien (Conn.), who is one of the top teams in the country.

Garden City hopes all this will result in breaking the state championship drought.

“Us seniors have not won one yet, so it’s definitely one of our goals,” Romeo said. “And we’re really motivated to do so.”

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