"Dessert! Dessert! Dessert!"
That chant has become a battle cry of sorts for Garden City's girls soccer team. Really.
It was heard Tuesday after Julia McGuire and Lauren Miesemer scored second-half goals to lift the third-seeded Trojans over Bellmore JFK, 2-0, in a Nassau Class A quarterfinal.
"I think 'dessert' might have brought us good luck,'' midfielder Kerry Defliese said with a chuckle. "We've been doing really well.''
Well enough to reach the semifinals, where they'll face Wantagh at 8 p.m. Friday at Adelphi.
It started at a team party last month, when the Trojans were in a 1-3-1 rut, and the players were served a large cake with "Never give up'' written in icing. Sweet. Teammates, for a laugh, dared seniors Deanna DiPierro and Alicia Mueller to stick their faces in it. After enough cajoling, they obliged as the group chanted "Dessert! Dessert! Dessert!''
The Trojans (11-3-2) haven't lost since. The chant coincided with their turnaround, so it continues. The players also were reminded to "never give up'' against No. 6 Bellmore JFK in a game that was anything but a piece of cake.
Garden City endured a frustrating first half in which it created several scoring opportunities, only to come up empty with near misses, and Gabrielle D'Ambrosi made 11 saves for the Cougars (3-10-3). DiPierro and Kate Farrell led a pressure defense that didn't allow Bellmore JFK to cross midfield for the first 23 minutes. But . . .
"We were executing the game plan, but just couldn't finish,'' said forward Kristen Adams, whose team outshot the Cougars 15-0 in the first half. "We were gunning for the goal."
Finally, McGuire put Garden City on the board with 34:08 remaining. She received a well-placed cross from Samantha Miesemer and pulled it into the left corner from 18 yards. "We had a lot of good looks,'' McGuire said, "so we were confident we'd get it in eventually.''
That proved to be the deciding goal, but Lauren Miesemer's goal takes the cake. She took a pass from Katherine Galzerano on the left flank, dribbled to create space and hammered a blistering line drive into the lower left corner from 30 yards in the 52nd minute. Icing on the cake.
Garden City, despite graduating a chunk of its core after winning the state title last season, appears equipped for another run. DiPierro said that for good luck, there could be another pastry face-plant upcoming.
Perhaps the Trojans can have their cake and eat it, too.