Garden City is the Nassau Class B girls lacrosse champion.
A year ago -- two months, even -- such news would have belonged in the gallery of "ho-hum." But the graduation of nine seniors, the five regular-season losses after a 55-game win streak, and Garden City's stunning fall from the national top 10 rankings made this one, perhaps for the Trojans, their sweetest.
Catherine Dickinson scored six goals, Alexandra Bruno had five, and Jenna Fuchs added a goal and four assists as top-seeded Garden City edged Wantagh, 14-12, Wednesday night at Adelphi.
This Nassau title is the Trojans' eighth consecutive, but, Bruno said, "It's the best one yet."
Her free-position goal -- a laser from 8 yards right -- gave Garden City a 12-11 lead with 10:14 remaining. Krista Dampman, off a flip pass from Fuchs, scored with 8:11 left. Catherine McTiernan's goal put the Trojans up 14-11 with 7:32 to go. Megan McDonald made nine saves for Garden City (14-5).
"I'm not ready to take this jersey off," said Dickinson, a senior. "When people doubt that you can do it and you do it, it's the most rewarding."
Strange as it may sound, Garden City's regular season hung question marks above this team and, for the first time in so long, they appeared vulnerable. "But we're in a do-or-die situation now," Bruno said. "When it was game time, we showed up and we proved it."
Kaleigh Craig scored seven goals to lead No. 2 Wantagh (13-6). Colleen Lovett added three goals. After tying the score at 11 with 11:32 left, Craig was held scoreless as the Trojans' defense clamped down.
"Our double lock-up on Craig and Lovett in the crease was the key for us down the stretch," defender Liz Stutzmann said. "We pulled it off and it feels amazing."
Garden City will face the winner of Eastport-South Manor vs. Hauppauge in the Long Island Championship on Sunday at Dowling Sports Complex.
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