FAIRFIELD—It was a long time coming but the Ludlowe girls lacrosse team is back in the state semifinals.
Ludlowe, which won the CIAC D-II state title in 2010, has not made it past the quarterfinals of the Class L Tournament since 2011.
Friday afternoon on Taft Field, the No. 7 seeded Falcons controlled possession, played solid defense when called upon and now find themselves back in the state semifinals after beating No. 15 Greenwich 10-5.
Ludlowe will play the winner of Friday’s game between No. 6 Simsbury and No. 3 Amity in the semifinals at a neutral site Tuesday.
For Ludlowe, it was all about winning possession off the draws, taking care of the ball and locking down Greenwich defensively.
“This was a great team win. We had incredible balance and our defense played amazing,” Ludlowe coach Jay Fellows said. “Possession is key. Possession is going to win and lose games more often than not. (Kaleigh Sommers) did a great job all day. The defense is the strength of our team and we get better every single game. Today was no exception.”
Besides winning draws, Sommers scored twice for the Falcons. Also for Ludlowe, Campbell Eckert, Coco Norman and Anna Paulmann each scored two goals with Emily Conway and Callie Cirilli scoring one apiece.
Ludlowe jumped out to early leads, going up 2-0 and 4-1.
Greenwich kept it close for the first 25 minutes, trailing 6-4 at the half.
The Ludlowe defense would control the second half, only allowing Greenwich one goal.
The Cardinals did not help themselves with several turnovers on the offensive end in the second half.
“Ludlowe is a very strong team and they played great defense today,” Greenwich coach Tara Clough said. “We had some unfortunate turnovers and some not-so-great decisions and that hurt us. It came down to the draw and possessions and them being able to convert on their opportunities and we didn’t. Their defense played really strong as a unit and kept us outside. We were having a hard time threading the needle and finishing.”
Greenwich was led by two goals from Grace Collier and one each from Sophie Roth, Delaney Roth and Emma Abbazia.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kaleigh Sommers, Ludlowe: The sophomore Sommers was able to win a majority of the draws for Ludlowe, several times winning the ball and cruising down the field herself for goals. Her dominance on draws was the key for the Falcons all day.
“This is such a good feeling. We’ve worked our butts off this entire season and from start to finish we have showed so much progress,” Sommers said. “Today was such a good team win and that made it that much more special. We knew from the beginning that we had to get off the draw. I think our defense was phenomenal today as a unit. That translated onto the offensive end. We knew we needed to possess the ball as much as possible because Greenwich is a strong team and I think we did a really good job of that.”
LUDLOWE 10, GREENWICH 5
GREENWICH 4 1—5
LUDLOWE 6 4—10
Goals: G — Grace Collier 2, Sophie Roth, Delaney Roth and Emma Abbazia. L—Kaleigh Sommers 2, Campbell Eckert 2, Coco Norman 2, Anna Paulmann 2, Emily Conway Callie Cirilli.
Goalies: G – Daryl Furno 8 saves; L—Kennedy Carr 5 saves
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