Jake White's Articles



It took a 200 mile drive and nearly eight decades for Garden City High’s lacrosse team to finally get a win against a Maryland team. Last Saturday, Coach Steve Finnell took his team to Baltimore to play St. Paul’s, a perennial power in the Maryland Lacrosse Association. The Trojans dominated the final 15 minutes of the game to come away with a 9-6 victory. It was the team’s first win against St. Paul’s in six tries, although each of the previous five games had been extremely close.

“It was a good win for us,” said Coach Finnell. “They are a very strong program with a great history.” The Trojans jumped out to a 3-1 first quarter lead on goals by Patric Berkery, Liam Kennedy and Devin Dwyer, then went flat in the second as they fell behind, 4-3 at the half. It began to look bad when the Crusaders extended their lead to 5-3 and the Trojans were hit with a two minute unreleasable penalty. At that point, a “bad play” became a game changer for Garden City. Speedster Mark Ellis, playing his first game of the season after recovering from a back injury, picked up a loose ball and outraced everyone out of his defensive end and into the offensive zone. Logic and standard practice called on him to try to kill the remaining time on the penalty, but Mark kept racing to the goal and fired a hard shot into the top of the cage to pull the Trojans within a goal. His “wrong” decision lit a fire under the GC players and the large group of fans who made the trip. Justin Guterding, (two), Patric Berkery, Tim McDonagh and Rob Savage all followed with goals and the defense, led by the brilliant play of goalie Dan Marino, shut down the Crusader offense.

Historically, Long Island and Baltimore have been the hotbeds of scholastic lacrosse. Garden City has played teams from Virginia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado and California. In 1983, they even played and defeated a team from London, England. But until Finnell began to schedule St. Paul’s in 2007, Garden City had played just one game against Maryland teams. A check of the record book shows that the game was played May 27, 1939 when new Garden City athletic director Carroll “Red” Smith invited Baltimore Friends, his former school , to play at Garden City. Friends won 12-4 and it would take 73 years and five more losses for the Trojans to get their first victory.

On Monday, GC (5-0) won its second conference game with a 17-2 thumping of previously undefeated Elmont (4-1). It was 12-0 half way through the second quarter when Finnell began to clear his bench. Devin Dwyer (2 goals, 4 assists) and Justin Guterding (4 goals, 2 assists) led the regulars. Mike Comiskey (2 goals), Jack Metzler (1 goal, 2 assists) and Chris Harder (1 and 1) took advantage of the added playing time.

The Trojans face Long Beach (Thursday, April 4) in a key conference game at GC. The Marines have moved to Conference Two after being a playoff qualifier last year in Class A. They have plenty of returning starters and are off to a strong start.

LAX NOTES: Next up for the Trojans on their tour through nationally-ranked opponents is Conestoga, Pennsylvania which may be ranked number one after defeating Maryland’s Calvert Hall, 11-10. The game will be played at Haverford, PA a week from Saturday, April 14 in that school’s annual lacrosse day. Haverford is down the road from Villanova in the Philadelphia suburbs. Game time is 11 a.m....Joining the Trojans at St. Paul’s was Manhasset which played Calvert Hall, a Baltimore power which had been ranked as high as number two nationally. The Indians led 5-1 in the third quarter but couldn’t hold the lead and lost 6-5 in overtime.

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