If there’s been one constant during Garden City’s remarkable run of seven straight girls lacrosse state championships, it’s been in the cage.
The Trojans have a history of stellar goalies, including back-to-back All-Americans in Kelly Weis (Harvard) and Megan McDonald (Georgetown).
Taylor Carpentier is well aware of the large shoes she’s attempting to fill in her first year as Garden City starting goaltender. It’s brought about a combination of excitement and anxiety for the junior.
“All the time I tell my friends that I don’t want to be that goalie that doesn’t get us a state championship,” Carpentier said. “They all went to crazy sick schools and they’re all great players. Being in their shoes and having a whole other year to go gets me excited, but at the same time it gets me scared because I have two years to try and win those state championships and not lose the streaks.”
Like Weis and McDonald before her, Carpentier will play Division I lacrosse, verbally committing to George Mason University in December.
She chose the Colonial Athletic Association squad over Jacksonville University.
Carpentier said she loved the coaches, the campus, the school’s academic profile and the possibility of instant playing time.
“The coaches definitely made me feel at home,” Carpentier said. “They said if I had any problems I could go to them. I wanted a coach I was close to, not just someone who thinks lacrosse, lacrosse, lacrosse.”
Carpentier is a three-sport star at Garden City. At 5-foot-10, she was a forward on the basketball team that won a county championship in the winter and was also a forward on the soccer team, although Carpentier joked she’s been convinced to step into the net on the pitch as well.
Her size and athleticism makes Carpentier one of the top lacrosse goaltenders on Long Island.
“You have to be an athlete in the cage,” Garden City coach Diane Chapman said. “In years past before the game got to the level that is, you could just throw anybody in there. But now with the athletes you have on the field, you have to have an athlete in the cage.”
Carpentier put that athleticism on display in a key victory Monday against rival Wantagh.
She made 13 saves, the biggest coming on a free-position attempt by Warriors midfielder Catie Ingrilli midway through the second half.
“I tried cheating to one side and I was trying to get her to shoot to my right side because that was my stick-side,” Carpentier said. “I just threw my stick high and the ball was in the air and stayed in my crease.”
It was a momentum-changing stop because less than 20 seconds later, Haley O’Hanlon scored her third goal of the game to increase the Trojans lead to 10-6 with 9:55 left.
Carpentier was equally impressive in a 10-9 overtime win over Manhasset on April 11, making 14 saves.
“Once she makes the save, everyone is so happy,” O’Hanlon said. “Even though the defense is playing great, she just comes up very strong with these saves.”