CORTLAND, N.Y. — With Shea Garcia and a precision passing attack leading the way, the Manhasset girls lacrosse team is back in the state title game.
Garcia had five goals and an assist to lead the Indians to a 14-8 win over Fayetteville-Manlius in a Class B semifinal at SUNY-Cortland on Friday. The Indians, who will play Brighton on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. in the state final, could win their first state championship since 2014, the last time they were in the title game.
“Their defense was quick so we knew we had to keep moving the ball really fast to find open opportunities,” Garcia said.
Manhasset (19-1) fell behind 2-0 just over six minutes into the game but responded with five consecutive goals and went into halftime ahead 6-3. Five of its first six goals were assisted.
“Ball movement was a point of emphasis for us,” coach Danielle Gallagher said. “They got to our attackers right away, so we were trying to get the ball moving quick and just finding the gaps. We did that and had a bunch of nice feeds in the middle.”
Garcia scored 14 seconds into the second half to extend the lead to 7-3, and while Fayetteville-Manlius (15-4) pulled within two on three separate occasions in the second, that was as close as the score got in the period.
Manhasset’s clinical offense also got help from its defense and a strong effort in the draw circle, which helped the Indians attack in transition and outshoot their opponents by a wide margin. The Indians put 23 shots on goal and allowed just 12.
After Fayetteville scored its two early goals, its potent offense was contained by the Manhasset defense, which held Northwestern-bound attack Amanda Cramer to a single goal.
“They have a lot of weapons and Cramer is a phenomenal player,” Gallagher said. “It was a battle. The defense worked together well.”
Kelly Trotta added two goals and an assist, Katie Bellucci had a goal and an assist, and Alexandra Petras, Emma LoPinto and Grace Gately all had a goal and an assist for Manhasset. Lauren Yun, Lindsay Giacobbe and Maria Themelis also scored for the Indians.
“Everyone on the bench brought the energy up and it transferred over to the field,” Garcia said. “It feels amazing but we can’t get too excited yet. We still have one more game left and we want to end the season with a win.”