CORTLAND — Three Nassau Class A championships, three Long Island titles — twice winning in regulation advancing to the state semifinals in Cortland and one co-championship after losing in penalty kicks — and one state championship in 2013 is quite list of accomplishments for the Garden City girls soccer senior class.
“It is really special,” said Megan Seel, a member of all four teams after Garden City’s 2-0 loss to Section III Jamesville-DeWitt in the state Class A semifinals at Tompkins Cortland Community College Saturday. “It would be great if we won it, obviously, but the fact that we got back here is amazing. I love our team.”
It’s a senior class coach Mike Heedles won’t soon forget, captained by Seel, Kelly Donovan, Kate Farrell and Katherine Galzerano. Even trailing by two goals late in the match, the Trojans continued charging the goal, pushing the offensive tempo and sacrificing their bodies. So much so that Galzerano — committed to play lacrosse at Michigan — limped off the field with two minutes remaining and needed to be carried to the training cart after playing through multiple injuries the majority of the season.
“I wouldn’t want it any other way,” said Galzerano with a bag of ice on her right foot. “Just coming out here every day with these girls is just an amazing experience and I’ll never take it for granted and forget and I love it so much.”
Garden City (11-5-3) hadn’t allowed a goal in 460 minutes this postseason or 995 playoff minutes dating back to the 2013 entering the match. But Jamesville-DeWitt (18-2) struck less than two minutes into the game on Alex Catanzarite’s breakaway goal off an assist from Tonia Kousmanidias to take a 1-0 lead. The Red Rams extended their lead off Sophia Dimkopoulos’ goal with 18:14 remaining in the match.
“As the seniors, we’ve been playing together since U8 and we wanted to win a state championship,” Donovan said. “But we gave all we had and at the end of the day, that’s all you can do.”
Kaitlyn Larsson had 10 saves for Garden City with help from the back line of Seel, Farrell, Gabriella Rogers and Jackie Morris. Emma Wieland, Kelly George and Deanna Weisenburger led an offensive attack that played well despite falling shy of scoring a goal.
“Despite this loss, we could have lost so many times,” Farrell said. “We went into penalty kicks twice [during the playoffs]. Getting here was our goal and it stinks that we lost but we really had a special season. It really does stink right now but looking back, I don’t regret anything.”