Another chapter in the one-sided girls’ lacrosse rivalry between Garden City and Wantagh was written May 21 in the semifinals of the Nassau Class B playoffs, but it wasn’t the same old story.
Third-seeded Wantagh scored the game’s first four goals, got stellar goaltending from sophomore Grace Beshlian, and never trailed on the way to eliminating No. 2 Garden City, 7-5, before a spirited crowd at Adelphi University. Seniors Brenna Connolly and Paige Craig notched two goals apiece for the Lady Warriors, who beat the Lady Trojans for the first time in 12 years, snapping a 19-game losing streak in the series, and advanced to meet defending county champion Manhasset in the title game this Wednesday at Adelphi.
“It feels amazing to finally get a win against Garden City,” said Connolly, who had the game-winning goal with 12 seconds remaining in the quarterfinals against Plainedge. “We’ve been trying for years.”
Wantagh, which lost six of seven county championship games to Garden City in an eight-year span ending in 2012, led 6-3 after a sophomore Nicole Sliwak (one goal, two assists) set up Craig for a shorthanded goal with 12 seconds remaining in the half. The Lady Warriors scored just once in the second half, when junior Kaitlyn Cerasi beat Taylor Carpentier (six saves) with 21:55 remaining, but it was more than enough given the efforts of Beshlian (14 saves) and senior Stefanie Wenz, and juniors Shea Weber and Carly Cullen on defense.
“The girls wanted this so bad and worked so hard,” Wantagh first-year head coach Jaclyn Coyne said. “Every single one of them had a part in this win. They were pumped all week at practice and came into this game with confidence.
“Garden City beat us by just one goal early in the year,” she added. “We definitely got the strong start we wanted, but we knew they weren’t giving up.”