Maureen Arendt and her Garden City girls lacrosse teammates never wanted to feel that way again.
The Trojans lost last year’s Long Island championship game in six overtimes to Westhampton. Arendt said she and her teammates used that loss, that feeling, as motivation this spring.
“We took that with us going into the year,” she said. “Every game we played was with the goal of getting back to the Long Island championship.”
Garden City beat West Islip, 15-6, in the Long Island Class B championship game at Adelphi on Sunday behind Kyle Finnell’s six goals and an assist and Arendt’s three goals and two assists.
“Six overtimes was a really tough way to end it,” Finnell said of last year’s loss. “But we definitely used that to win this game. It was kind of our motivation.”
Finnell had four goals and Arendt scored twice in the first half. The Trojans (16-3) nursed a 7-3 lead before taking two overlapping penalties late in the half. With her team down two players, Niamh Pfaff made two of her 12 saves to maintain the four-goal lead before halftime.
“At that point, all you emphasize is communication and just trying to be as aggressive as possible,” Pfaff said. “It worked and it paid off, so that was definitely some good momentum going into the second half.”
“[Pfaff] played great, and that moment to me was really a game-changer,” Garden City coach Dave Ettinger said. “We never even practice that, and the way the girls reacted to that was just incredible.”
Ava Obloj had four goals and Francesca Tofano scored twice for West Islip (14-5). Makenna Gagliardi and Avery Lanzarotta totaled 15 saves.
Garden City scored four straight goals in the second half between two of Obloj’s goals. “Our offense needed to attack the gaps in their zone,” Finnell said. “We exposed them on the crease, which is exactly how we planned to.”
Garden City will face Section III champion West Genesee in the state semifinals at SUNY Cortland on Friday at 9 a.m.
The Trojans won the Long Island title in 2021 but did not advance to the state semifinals, which the NYSPHSAA canceled because of COVID-19.
It’ll be Garden City’s first trip to the state tournament since 2017. The Trojans won the championship that season.
“It’s an amazing moment. It’s what you put all this work in for,” Ettinger said. “Everyone who plays this sport, their goal is to get to Cortland, and I’m excited for these girls to get there.”