Trio leads GC to national prominence
You can count on Garden City for scoring, lots of it. The nation's No. 1-ranked team, according to Inside Lacrosse, averages nearly 14 goals per game, and points are as easy as 1-2-3.
Those are the uniform numbers for the players on attack, a threesome who has combined for 120 points, including 61 of Garden City's 124 goals. "We have great chemistry together. We know what each guy will do," said Harvard-bound senior Devin Dwyer, who wears No. 2.
What they did Saturday was team up for five goals and seven assists as the host Trojans improved to 9-0 with a comfortable 10-5 non-league victory over Duxbury (Mass.), a top 20 team in Inside Lacrosse's New England regional rankings.
"All three bring a different skill set," Garden City coach Steve Finnell said of Dwyer, prep school-bound senior Liam Kennedy (No. 3) and Duke-bound junior Justin Guterding (No. 1). "Devin is the best feeder. Justin is a good finisher. Liam is a crease guy. And when the ball is on the ground, all three will ride. They get back a lot of possessions for us."
After spotting Duxbury an early 2-0 lead, the Garden City attack took over. Kennedy scored two goals in 15 seconds to tie it, one off a neat feed from Dwyer. Guterding's unassisted goal on a dodge from behind the cage with 4:42 left in the first quarter put the Trojans ahead to stay. A decisive 5-0 scoring blitz also included two extra-man goals, one by Rob Savage and the other by Lucas Clay, both off slick passes from behind the net by Dwyer, who finished with five assists and also scored the Trojans' final goal late in the third quarter on a pass from Guterding, who had a goal and two assists.
"We try to give ourselves space to hit the easy pass and shot," said Kennedy, who had a hat trick and leads the team with 25 goals. "They tried to shut down Devin but we made adjustments on the fly."
Dwyer is more than willing to be a feeder if teams try to lock him off, and leads the team with 53 points, including a Long Island-best 36 assists. "We'll read each other's matchup and get the ball to the right guy," Dwyer said.
"We've been playing together since we were freshmen," said Guterding, who has 19 goals and 18 assists. "We shoot together every Sunday. We know we can beat our man, one on one."
And they know if they run their offense and keep the ball moving, one of them will get open. "All three work together very well, and Devin is very patient," Finnell said.
Dwyer is also very accurate. Finnell thought the goal of the game came after a restart near midfield when Dwyer tossed a long pass right onto Kennedy's stick in shooting position for a goal that made it 8-3 with 6:55 left in the third.
"Forty-five yards, right over a defender's stick and he hits the guy in stride," Finnell said. "That was something special."
So is the Trojans' trio.