It's rare for the Garden City Trojans to find themselves in the underdog role after winning six straight New York State Class B girls' lacrosse titles, but that's the situation they faced this year after losing five of eight regular-season games in a tough mid-year slump.
After suffering such a steep downhill slide, not many gave the Trojans much of a chance to make it seven state titles in a row. This is a team that typically goes undefeated and regularly features All-Americans at every position.
For instance, the Trojans graduated All-American midfielders Mikaela Rix, Barbara Sullivan and 2011 New York State girls' lacrosse playoff tournament MVP goalkeeper Kelly Weis prior to the start of the 2012 season, so it was an uphill climb from the get-go.
If there was ever a time when a perennial contender could be considered a Cinderella story, it would be the 2012 installment of the Garden City Lady Trojans.
Garden City faced a tough challenge in the Nassau County championship round against the pesky Wantagh Lady Warriors, led by Kaleigh Craig and Colleen Lovett. Many local fans thought that match had bracket buster written all over it, and not many would have been surprised if Wantagh came out on top.
Princeton commit Alex Bruno (five goals and one assist) and Fairfield-bound standout Jenna Fuchs (one goal and four assists) combined for 11 points to lead Garden City to the Long Island championship, where they took down ESM by an 11-7 count.
Once the New York State semifinals got underway, Garden City's playoff-savvy seniors picked up the pace and forgot all about the four All-Americans who graduated the year prior.
This was their time to shine now.
Bruno scored a team-high four goals and added three assists to lead the Trojans past Vestal, 15-5, in the state semis, and she led the team with six goals in a 13-8 victory over Canandaigua in the NYS championship round.
The victory earned Garden City its seventh straight Class B title, in the same season where Garden City's boys' lacrosse team won its fifth straight NYS title. The boys' team finished 22-0, while the girls wrapped up 2012 with a 17-5 record.
Bruno was absolutely beastly all season, and she will be sorely missed as the team heads to 2013. She finished up with a team-high 93 goals and 41 assists, while Penn commit Catherine Dickinson scored 51 goals and tallied 20 assists for the Trojans.
Eric Holden has been covering Long Island high school sports since 2009. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.