What was supposed to be their biggest challenge turned into the ultimate coronation.
The Greene Trojans won the New York State Class C field hockey championship on Sunday afternoon at Cicero North-Syracuse High School, beating the Southampton Mariners 7-0.
The victory completed a perfect 18-0 season, giving the program its first state title since 2009 and coach Sue Carlin’s fifth career championship.
Greene was dominant in every phase. The Trojans were in complete control from the outset, playing as though the opponents were in quicksand.
“I’m just so proud of my kids,” Carlin said. “They played phenomenal today. My group of seniors are very special and this was for them. They worked so hard and they’ve been great leaders. They brought us along to where we are at.”
The onslaught started 3:15 into the game, when Emily Gascon scored off a rebound in front of the net. It was the first of Gascon’s two goals in the contest. As the senior celebrated, tears of joy streamed down her face.
Gascon had plenty of company on the score sheet. Emma Anderson had the game of her life, netting a hat trick
before the first half was over.
Anderson is small in stature, but that should not fool anyone. There was no larger performer than the diminutive senior, who ended her final game in a Greene uniform with four points.
“It was a great game,” Anderson said. “It kind of summarized everything we worked for this whole season and our whole lives. We’ve been playing together since we were in first grade, and this is a great end to all of that.”
Jahna Driscoll was not able to score, but she was instrumental in setting up everyone around her and finished with three assists.
Both Anderson and Driscoll made the All-Tournament team along with Emily Conroe, who tallied a goal and assist of her own.
By the end of the first half, the score was 5-0 and the competitive phase of the game was over.
“They made my nerves a little better today,” Carlin said. “I was hoping for that because I wanted to let my seniors celebrate at the end. The other day I was just kind of kidding around when I said ‘put the pedal to the medal, we’re just going to go’ and that’s exactly what they did.”
The championship was especially sweet considering the road taken. Greene had been to the final four each of the past two seasons with dreams of a title, only to lose each year in the semifinals.
While the past was certainly painful, it served as fuel.
“It was definitely motivating,” said Gascon. “When we came out today we were on a mission. There was no way we were going to lose — there was just no way.”
It’s hard not to compare this team against other great Trojans’ squads of the past. While everything is relative because of opponents and different classes (Greene used to be in Class A), Carlin believes the 2012 group is comparable to any she has had.
“I think with our veteran players that can happen easy because they are so skilled,” Carlin said in respect to her offense. “They know how to finish. This team didn’t just have one or two that can finish, we had five or six. Every game we had four different kids scoring.
“In that respect was it one of the better teams? Yes.”