I don’t believe the final story from last night’s NYSPHSAA downstate semifinal made it in our Yorktown and Northern Westchester editions, so here it is …
HEMPSTEAD — Arms went up in frustration well before halftime after Garden City pulled off a sneak attack on a restart. Yorktown was caught looking the other way, and the defense never saw Justin Guterding break for the crease from the sideline.
Devin Dwyer spotted him from 40 yards away.
Guterding hauled in the pass with nobody around, hustled in and triggered a devastating avalanche. The Long Island champions poured in three goals in 22 seconds to pull away from the Cornhuskers, who fell 14-4 Wednesday in the Class B downstate final at Hofstra University.
It was a humbling experience.
“They are the No. 1 team in the country for a reason,” Yorktown coach Dave Marr said. “Physically, they were just stronger than us all over the field. I remember feeling like we were still in the game, and boom, boom, boom … the air went right out of us.”
Dwyer, who’s heading for Harvard, finished with seven assists.
The last Cornhuskers playoff win against the Long Island winner came in 2003. It’s been five years since any team from Section 1 survived a NYSPHSAA semifinal against Section 8 or 11. John Jay was the last to move on.
Nick Mariano got Yorktown off to a good start when he went low for the first goal of the game. Patric Berkery got that one back in a man-up situation. Yorktown (16-5) took another penalty, and Guterding moved the Trojans in front as it was released.
A slip on defense gave Liam Kennedy room to make it 3-1 in the final seconds of the first.
Garden City (21-0) took control with 7:30 to go in the opening half as Gutterding blended in with teammates on the sideline following a time out and broke into the open for a dagger of a goal. The Trojans, who are the consensus No. 1 team in the country scored twice more in a span of 22 seconds, and never looked back.
“We tried something different on that one and pressured the ball,” Yorktown close defenseman Trevor Koelsch said. “Some things don’t work out. … The entire game, we kept hoping we’d turn a corner. They’re a phenomenal team and I hope we have the honor of playing them again in the state semifinals next year.”
Conor Gately scored twice for the Cornhuskers to make it 6-3, but the hope died quickly. Garden City threw in three more in a span of 37 seconds later in the quarter, and went into the break with a 10-3 lead.