Making its first-ever appearance in a Nassau County boys’ lacrosse championship game, Carey quickly erased a three-goal halftime deficit to tie Garden City with five minutes left in the third quarter of the Class B final June 16 at Mitchel Athletic Complex.
However, the Trojans regained momentum for good with two goals in less than 10 seconds and went on to defeat the Seahawks, 11-8, for their fourth county title in five seasons.
Seniors Bobby Seel and Ryan Connolly had three goals apiece for top-seeded Garden City, which beat Carey 7-3 during the regular season. Senior Jimmy O’Connell (3 goals, 1 assist) and junior Dean Metzger (1, 3) paced the Seahawks with four points apiece. Seniors Joe Todaro, Nick Cowen and Branden Tello led the defensive effort.
“Our kids played extremely hard,” Carey coach Tom Aiello said. “After we got it to 5-5, we gave up some goals and were unable to get the ball back. The next thing you know, we’re back in a hole at 9-5.”
Not once or twice, but three times the Trojans managed to beat the end-of-quarter horn with a goal. They scored with 1.4 seconds left in the opening quarter, 1.1 seconds remaining in the half, and with 2.1 seconds to go in the third quarter.
“I’ve never seen that before in my life,” Aiello said. “We got punched in the stomach three times. Something like that is tough to overcome. It was frustrating.”
Garden City led 10-5 less than a minute into the fourth quarter before the Seahawks made one last push. Senior Michael Faraone scored twice with identical-looking blistering shots just under the crossbar to get them within 10-7 with 8:40 remaining. But, Carey wouldn’t score again until the closing seconds.
“The margin for error against a team like Garden City is so small,” Aiello said.
Third-seeded Carey, which never led, advanced to the title game with playoff victories over No. 6 Long Beach (15-7 on June 9) and No. 2 MacArthur (12-7 on June 11.) O’Connell, Metzger and Faraone had three goals each against Long Beach. Seniors Anthony DeNicola and Gavin Bailey added two apiece in a game the Seahawks built a comfortable 9-2 halftime cushion. Metzger and junior Kyle Lewis both had six points against MacArthur, which beat Carey 14-9 just 10 days earlier.
“When we played MacArthur in the regular season, we didn’t win many faceoffs or groundballs,” Aiello said. “We knew we could flip the result if we did those two things better and we definitely had the ball more.”
The Seahawks (9-6 overall) had eight award-winners including five All-County selections: O’Connell, Metzger, Todaro, Cowen and Faraone. DeNicola and Lewis were Honorable Mention All-County, and Tello was named All-Conference.