Why are Garden City athletics always competitive? If you ask Head Coach Steve Finnell, the answer is simple, “we love to compete.” Passion fuels amateur athletes to do great things. For the Trojans of Garden City, they don’t let their competitive embers fade in lacrosse’s ‘off-season,’ instead, they fuel them by playing and competing in something else. The Garden City’s Football team is a prime example. This past Fall, they won a Long Island Championship with a roster full of lacrosse players.
Another reason for GC’s success, their athletes embrace ‘the process.’ For Coach Finnell’s lacrosse program, this process includes a strong emphasis on proper practice, staying fresh, and ensuring players are loving the sport come May. Coach Finnell credits his athletes for competing all-year round. “Our boys understand when to turn it up during the season.” Mentioned Coach Finnell is a recent interview, “They’ve experienced competing at a high level and winning meaningful games during their time playing other sports.” Shifting our focus to Garden City lacrosse, it’s safe to say last year’s run was one to remember.
After nearly getting knocked out of the playoffs in the semi-finals to South Side, Garden City then ran the table, eventually securing a 2018 Class B NYS Championship in thrilling fashion! Garden City was up 6-5 with less than 12 seconds to go in the fourth. Victor had possession of the ball behind GC’s goal, their attackman skips the ball top-center to Andrew Russell (Michigan) who caught, split, and stuck a shot bar down, tying the game with 8.5 seconds remaining. On the ensuing face-off, 2019 Justin Cappola (Villanova) won it forward, hit Liam Muldoon at the point, who then skipped the ball through the defense to James Basile for a hitch, crank and shot in the back of the cage, game over: Garden City wins!
While 2018 might be hard to top, the season ahead still has a lot of promise. The Trojans return a very strong Senior Class who all have playoff experience. Four year starter and one of the best competitors Coach Finnell has been around, Colin Hart (Brown) will lead the charge. When talking to Coach Finnell about Colin, he said, “it helps when the hardest worker on your team is one of your best players.” He continued saying, “Colin knows one way to do things, 100%.” Hart returns as an All-American and 1st Team All-Long Island GOAT USA athlete. Working alongside HArt in 2019, will be Danny Boccafola (Cornell). Boccafola is a special athlete who is an absolute ruckus-maker between the lines.
Speaking of between the lines, you can’t look past Trevor Yeboah-Kodie (Brown) who is one of the most underrated players on Long Island. Trevor is a stand-out footballer, who made the difficult decision to play lacrosse, as opposed to football in college. If you ask Coach Finnell about Yeboah, he’d say, “Trevor is unselfish, he’s humble, and he can do it all.” Last year, Trevor might not of put of staggering statistics, but he did when it counted. In the Nassau County Championship game against Manhasset, Trevor was 3 and 2, just one example of his clutch factor. Expect to see Trevor all over the field in 2019. Due to his versatility, he can play both midfield and attack. Justin Cappola (Villanova) is another special talent for Garden City. Justin is arguably the best face-off specialist in Nassau County. Cappola is a grinder who really put GC on his back during their 2018 playoff run. Coach Finnell spoke on behalf of Justin’s attitude saying, “His heart and courage is on a different level.”
A season ago, Garden City had two great goalies. Sometimes when you have two great stoppers, one tends to get overlooked. Eric Mueller (Franklin & Marshall), who got time and has been on varsity since his sophomore year, is now getting an opportunity to step out of the shadows and into the limelight. Coach Finnell thinks Eric will do, “Outstanding.”
Other key returners in the 2019 class includes attackman Gavin Pappas (Denison), Joe Scattareggia (Bucknell), Jack Muldoon. A big reason for Garden City’s ability to make another run deep into the playoffs is due to their strong and deep Junior class. Starting with the defense, GC returns Holden Overbeck and Billy Kephart (Cornell). Between the lines, Ford Carney will prove himself as the Trojans go to defensive-midfielder, hoovering ground balls and pushing transition when necessary. On attack, Garden City will insert 6’4” lefty attackman, Christian Sullivan.
From the goal, to the defense, through the midfield, and finishing on attack, Garden City has all the pieces. IF they can stay healthy, trust the process, and continue to play their best lacrosse in May into early June, don’t be surprised if GC is holding up their second consecutive NYS Championship trophy.
Teddy Dolan (2018 GK, Binghamton)
Tyler Wuchte (2018 M, Fairfield)
Kyle Steinbach (2018 M, Providence)
Liam Muldoon (2018 A, Utah)
Colin Hart (2019 D, Brown)
Trevor Yeboah- Kodie (2019 M, Brown)
Danny Boccafola (2019 LSM, Cornell)
Justin Coppola (2019 M/FOGO, Villanova)
Eric Mueller (2019 GK, Franklin & Marshall)
Billy Kephart (2020 D, Cornell)
James Basile (2019 A, Vermont)
Will Puccio (2019 A/M, Trinity)
Joe Scattareggia (2019 M, Bucknell)
Todd Caravana (2019, Denison)
Jack Muldoon (2019 A)
Gavin Pappas (2019 A, Denison)
Christian Sullivan (2020 M)
Ford Carney (2020 M)
Holden Overbeck (2020 A/M)
Vs. Manhasset (Woodstick Classic)
Returning STAT Leaders
Justin Coppola (75% Faceoff Percentage)
Colin Hart (2019, All-American)
Liam Muldoon (2018, All-County)
Justin Coppola (2019, All-County)
Danny Boccafola (2019, All-County)
Tyler Wuchte (2018, All-County, Short Stick Defensive Midfielder of the Year)
Trevor Yeboah-Kodie (2019, All-County)
Teddy Dolan (2018, All-County, Nassau County Goalie of the Year)
Kyle Steinbach (2018, All-Conference)
Cole Dutton (All-Conference)
Matt Desimpliciis (All-Conference)
Since 2007, Garden City has won:
10 Nassau County championships
6 Long Island Championships
Played in 5 State Championship games
Won 3 New York State Championships.