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Playing With A Big Stick

Defense keys successful lacrosse seasons

The boys and girls high school teams are both rolling and have their sights set on a long run in the playoffs.  Both team have faced a number of formidable opponents throughout the season and have successfully navigated their schedules. One thing that has been consistent for both teams has been that their defenses have had to stand tall at key times and shut down very active offenses. Both Coach Finnell and Coach Chapman have made sure that the non-league schedules of their teams will ensure that their teams are prepared for whatever the playoffs can throw at them.

After going the full season last year undefeated, the boys team has three blemishes on their record with losses to powerhouses Ward Melville, Manhasset and LaSalle of PA. With a 9-3 record the Trojans are looking to wrap up the number two seed in the playoffs to force a rematch of the Manhasset game in the County finals. The boys have excelled defensively only allowing 4.25 goals against per game. And if you remove those three tough losses the goals against average drops to 3.1.

Dan Dolan anchors the stout defense between the pipes coming up with the key saves when opponents do get shots off. But the long sticks of Ed Blatz, Tom Wright and Kyle Skramko team up with short stick defender Scott D’Antonio to play a big role in keeping their opponents at bay, while James Sullivan has turned into one of Long Island’s best face-off men and that has often given the edge in time of possession to the Trojans.

As for the girls, they are atop the league standings and ranked as one of the top teams in the country with a 12-1 record, having lost to nationally ranked St. Anthony’s last week. With four overtime wins mixed in with a couple of romps, the Lady Trojans have not had it as easy as their record may look. But with a very challenging schedule to close out the season the girls should be primed for a long run in the playoffs.

Just as the boys team has an anchor like Dolan in the goal, the girls team has Taylor Carpentier playing at the top of her game in the cage. Carpentier has been exceptional in several key wins, especially the four overtime wins, and she has ignited the team time after time with tough saves that eventually turn into transition offense.

The second half of games have become the time that the Lady Trojans really tighten up and take control with their stingy defense. On the season they are only allowing a little more than 3 goals a game in the second half of these tough matches to help them to run off those twelve straight wins to start the season.    

Along with the George Mason-bound Carpentier, the defense is led by two of the team’s captains, Linda Marie Attanasio and Carly Knowles. Those two team up with Charlotte Castronova, Elizabeth Furman and Melanie McHugh to form a solid back line. These are names that you don’t often see in the games boxscores but without whom Garden City would not be sitting atop the standings.

The playoffs have begun and certainly both of the Garden City teams are in the hunt for county, Long Island and state championships.