By Gene Morris
LIlacrosseNews.com, Posted 6/7/12
You could tell by the way the Garden City boys’ lacrosse team jogged across the field after the final horn of its 14-4 state semifinal win over Yorktown Wednesday that the Trojans were not satisfied.
Dominating all comers during an undefeated regular season and destroying all playoff opponents was nice, but Saturday’s New York State championship game is what really matters to the Nassau County power.
All-American attack Devin Dwyer paced a Garden City offense that exploded for 10 first half goals in the easy win over Yotktown at Hofstra University. Dwyer scored one himself and added seven assists – four of them on goals by Duke-bound Justin Guterding.
Garden City moves on to face Irondequoit at 4 p.m. at Middletown High for the state championship. The Eagles (19-2) eliminated defending champion Jamesville-DeWitt, 8-5.
Yorktown (16-5) scored the game’s first goal and its bench erupted – perhaps gaining confidence but more likely because the Cornhuskers would be able to say they held a lead against a team that will shoot for a national championship on Saturday.
The Cornhuskers nearly went up 2-0 after Trojans goalie Steven Marino committed a turnover and left Yorktown with an open goal. Somehow Marino was able to dive back across the crease and make the save – one that will go on the highlight reels, although he admitted one that “he’d like to not have happen” again.
After the Marino save it was all Trojans, with goals coming quickly and often in rapid fire succession. Patric Berkery scored first with 4:51 left in the opening quarter on an assist from Dwyer. Dwyer then found Guterding and Liam Kennedy for goals in the final 2:31 to put the Trojans up 3-1 after one.
The floodgates opened up in the second quarter. Dwyer found Guterding twice in a six second span to push the lead to 5-1. Mark Ellis added another just 18 seconds after that and suddenly Garden City was up 6-1.
Yorktown’s Conor Gately answered back with two goals of his own in just over a minute, the second coming with 4:37 remaining in the half. But that excitement was short lived as the Trojans scored four more times in the second frame, capped by an Ed Blatz goal with 50 seconds remaining to take a 10-3 lead into the half.
The high octane Garden City offense left its mark on the Yorktown defense with seven goals in the second quarter.
All parts of the Garden City machine were firing on all cylinders on Wednesday night – freshman James Sullivan also went 13 of 16 on face offs – but it was hard to look past the contributions of Dwyer and Guterding.
“Devin is just a very selfless player,” Garden City head coach Steve Finnell said. “You can look back at some games when he doesn’t have a lot of points but there’s no difference in his demeanor – there’s no difference if he had one (goal) and seven (assists) or no points as long as we advanced.”
The defense, anchored by Marino in goal, has excelled above preseason expectations. The loss of star defensemen Stephen Jahelka, Brian Fischer and JP Burnside has not stopped Garden City from having a dominating unit.
“This whole playoffs has just been surreal for the whole time,” Marino said. “Our defense was supposed to be the unsure part of our team this year and we’ve shown a lot of people that that’s not true.
“This team came out here averaging 14 goals a game and we held them to four goals which is absolutely insane. We knew they were great shooters but I was seeing the ball well and they giving me shots that I wanted to see all day and that’s all I can ask for. I’m so proud of my team.”
Garden City 14, Yorktown 4
Justin Guterding: 4 goals
Patric Berkery: 3 goals
Mark Ellis: 2 goals
Cody George: 2 goals
Devin Dwyer: 1 goal, 7 assists
Liam Kennedy: 1 goal, 1 assist
Ed Blatz: 1 goal
Ryan Norton: 1 assist
Steve Marino: 9 saves
Conor Gately: 2 goals
Nick Mariano: 1 goal
Connor Vercruysse: 1 goal
Austin Graham: 5 saves
Zach Reilly: 1 save
Tags: Garden City