By SAL CACCIATORE Newsday (reprinted)
History repeated itself Wednesday afternoon, albeit with a twist.
For the second straight season, Garden City girls lacrosse and Connecticut powerhouse Darien played an overtime thriller.
And once again, the home team relinquished a late lead and lost by one goal.
Despite three goals from Haley O'Hanlon, Garden City lost to visiting Darien, 10-9, in overtime in a non-league game.
Emily Stein scored the winner with 34 seconds left in overtime and goalie Kyra Gardner made 13 saves to lead 13-time Connecticut state champion Darien (4-0). The win avenged last April's 12-11 overtime loss at home to Garden City, Darien's only loss of the season.
"It was a great game with two highly skilled teams going back and forth," Garden City coach Diane Chapman said of Wednesday's game. "It could've gone either way and unfortunately it just didn't go our way today."
The Trojans (7-1) led by two goals with 3:30 left in regulation, before Darien scored twice in the game's final 80 seconds to send it to overtime. The visitors took their first lead of the game 1:30 into the first overtime period and though Michaela Bruno equalized 38 seconds later, Stein's second goal of the game gave Darien the win.
"It's awesome that we have the opportunity to play a great team," Garden City senior midfield Tara DeAngelo said. "It really hurts to lose but then again, I feel like it showed our weaknesses and spots we need to work on. We can only learn from this."
The hosts scored the game's first three goals and jumped out to a 4-1 lead by the 13:59 mark in the first half.
A 5-2 Darien run tied the game at six with 7:23 left in the second, before goals from Kerry Defliese and O'Hanlon temporarily restored the Garden City advantage.
"It was tough [after] being up in the beginning," O'Hanlon said of the loss. "We kind of let them back in the game."
A silver lining for the Trojans was Bruno, who continued her emergence by scoring two goals and adding an assist to bring her season point tally to 23.
"As a sophomore, it definitely boosts my confidence, knowing that I can help the team out," Bruno said.
Last year, the loser of the Garden City-Darien contest went undefeated for the rest of the season, en route to a state title.
That is a piece of history the Trojans would not mind seeing repeat itself.