Garden City’s 17 seniors waited three long years for another chance to compete in a Nassau B title game.
After losing as freshmen to Manhasset in 2013, those seniors finally got their redemption. Kerry Defliese’s goal with 29.2 seconds remaining gave the top-seeded Trojans a 9-8 win over the No. 3 Indians in the Nassau B Championship game at Bethpage High School Wednesday night.
“We’ve been working on this for four years now, and we’ve finally brought it back,” said Michaela Bruno, who had three goals and an assist.
Garden City (18-1) had possession in the final moments before Manhasset knocked the ball loose, but Jackie Brattan scooped up the ground ball and found Defliese cutting to the net. And that was that.
“We lost the ball at first, and I was a little nervous,” Defliese said. “Everyone was on edge. But Jackie Brattan got the ground ball back, which was key, and passed it. I just cut and that was it.”
The Trojans opened up a 4-0 lead in the opening six minutes, but the Indians scored three unanswered tallies at the end of the first half to cut the deficit to 4-3.
A 3-1 run to open the second pushed Garden City’s lead to 7-4. No stranger to making comebacks, Manhasset (13-3-1) didn’t quit. After all, this is a team that trailed 9-8 against Wantagh in the county semifinals with nine seconds left and managed to win in overtime.
“No lead you have over a team like Manhasset is ever a comfortable lead,” said Garden City coach Diane Chapman.
In true Manhasset form, the Indians came back. Rory Quinn scored twice to cut the deficit to 7-6. Brattan scored her third for Garden City, making the score 8-6, but Quinn struck again with 6:33 remaining.
Trailing 8-7, Manhasset continued pushing. Collette Murray scored with 4:15 left to tie it at 8.
“The [4-0] lead was great, but we kind of slowed down, got a little tired,” Defliese said. “The nerves help, actually. It made us push harder.”
That’s why Garden City didn’t quit in the final moments when the ball hit the turf. Brattan’s pass to Defliese was on point, and Defliese was able to convert.
Garden City will play Suffolk B champion Eastport-South Manor in the Long Island Championship at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Stony Brook University.
“They’re the defending state champs,” Chapman said of ESM. “You know that they’re an incredibly great team — a well-coached team.”
But with a hungry, senior-laden roster, Chapman’s group should be able to give the Sharks a serious run.