The Eagle Academy II boys’ lacrosse team and Brooklyn Tech girls’ squad didn’t get to feel the joy of ending their historic seasons with city titles. But that should not take away from what the teams did accomplish this year.
They put their programs on the map and set a high bar of expectations for future clubs. Strong foundations have been established.
Both won Public School Athletic League Class B crowns a year ago, and proved to be two of the top teams in the city with all of the squads smartly merged into one big league. The “B” from last year was just a label on their eyes.
As Brooklyn Tech senior midfielder Monica Garlinska said after her team’s semifinal win, “B” only meant how many years your program has been around, because you had to earn your way up.
“Everyone sees ‘B,’ they’re the bad,” Garlinska said. “We are forming the idea that we can beat established teams.”
The third-year Engineers club showed it had enough skill to more than compete with the Public School Athletic League’s more established programs. It beat perennial Brooklyn power Midwood twice during an undefeated regular season, and ended Tottenville’s four-year reign as champions with a thrilling, 6–5 double-overtime win in the semifinals.
“It’s saying they shouldn’t underestimate a ‘B’ division team,” said Brooklyn Tech goalie Alexa Euceda.
But the perfect ending wasn’t to be for her squad. Brooklyn Tech’s inexperience in big games finally caught up to it. Engineers coach Anthony Cicolini felt his squad came out safe early in its 9–6 loss to a hungry Curtis team in the city final. It put Brooklyn Tech behind 3–0, a deficit it never fully recovered from.
Eagle Academy II also saw its season come to end after facing an early deficit. It trailed eventual city champion Tottenville 3–1 after one quarter before falling 7–5 in the semifinals. Its lone loss before that was to Hunter College, more than proving it belongs with the big boys.
While Eagle will need to replace leading scorer Kernell Warner and a host of other seniors, Brooklyn Tech returns a strong core from this year’s quad. Super sophomore Breanna Flynn, who scored four times in the title game, leads the strong returning group. Both programs still have bright futures ahead of them, along with the hunger to achieve more.
These teams’ contributions should not be forgotten, even if future squads become the first to finally bring a championship banner home. The 2015 squads will always hold a special place at their schools, no matter what the future holds for both programs. No one will ever be shocked again by Eagle Academy II and Brooklyn Tech competing for a top tier city title.
It is something that is to be expected from both programs from now on. The programs aren’t “B” any longer. They are for real, and only getting better.