FAIRFIELD — Kaleigh Sommers had the ball in her stick and a possible victory in sight during Ludlowe’s girls lacrosse game against Guilford on Tuesday.
She didn’t overthink the moment.
“You can’t let it get into your head too much,” Sommers said. “I just had to stick to my game and who I was.”
The approach worked.
Sommers scored the game-winning goal on a free position 2:44 into overtime as the Falcons defeated SCC power Guilford 12-11 in a battle of undefeated teams Tuesday at Taft Field in Fairfield.
Sommers, who had five goals and an assist, also scored the equalizer with 39 seconds remaining in regulation. Ludlowe (5-0) rallied from a two-goal deficit in the final three minutes.
“She just showed a lot of heart,” Ludlowe’s first-year coach Jay Fellows said. “She’s the sort or kid who wants the ball. She was getting fouled really hard when it got kind of chippy at the end, but those sort of things don’t deter her from being successful.”
For Guilford (6-1), Maddie Epke had three goals and three assists, and Payton Root had five goals. The Grizzlies rallied from a 4-1 first-half deficit with five straight goals and didn’t trail again until Sommers ended it in overtime.
“We were protecting the ball a little bit better and not making unforced errors,” Guilford coach Wendy Epke said of the Grizzlies’ surge. “Towards the end, we mentally got a little tired and we started making mistakes which we’ll learn from.
“It’s good, it’s still the middle of the season, so we can learn and grow from this.”
Ludlowe’s Kaleigh Sommers (18) drives against Guilford’s Taylor Farace (5) during a girls lacrosse game at Taft Field in Fairfield on Tuedsday, April 27, 2021.
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Guilford’s Maddie Epke (20) carries the ball while Ludlowe’s Quinlyn Shannehan (8) and Sofia Lafalce (15) defend during a girls lacrosse game at Taft Field in Fairfield on Tuesday. April 27, 2021.
Guilford’s Sydney Cunningham (24) and Ludlowe’s Claire Davenport (10) battle for a ground ball during a girls lacrosse game at Taft Field in Fairfield on Tuesday, April 27. 2021.
Goalies Kennedy Carr of Ludlowe and Sydney Widlitz of Guilford made several key plays and finished with 10 saves apiece.
Guilford won the opening draw in OT, but Carr made a save against Maddie Epke to reverse the field.
“Kennedy did an amazing job,” Sommers said. “She saved us off that draw. They had it and it could’ve gone either way. Our defense came up with some huge stops and that allowed us to transition into the offensive end and go from there.”
Wendy Epke was happy with sophomore defender Kat Baseggio, who marked Ludlowe’s USC-bound junior Callie Cirilli. Cirrili had one goal and one assist.
The Falcons have beaten two of the SCC’s top teams — they defeated Daniel Hand 11-7 on opening day — and are relishing the role of the underdog.
“We want to come out when people aren’t expecting us,” Sommers said. “We’re doing a great job in practice, working our absolute hardest, and then bringing that into games. We have a lot to come. This is the beginning.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kaleigh Sommers, Ludlowe: Among the sophomore’s five goals were the two biggest of the day: The equalizer with 39 seconds remaining in regulation, and the winner in overtime.
“They have a lot of heart, they hustle and they work really hard. I think those are things that have carried over from two years ago.” — Ludlowe coach Jay Fellows on the Falcons
[email protected]; @dstewartsports
LUDLOWE 12, GUILFORD 11 (OT)
GUILFORD 7 4 0 — 11
LUDLOWE 5 6 1 — 12
Scoring: Guilford: Maddie Epke 3g, 3a; Payton Root 5g; Hannah Tillier 1g, 1a; Taylor Farace 1g; Kat Baseggio 1g; Ludlowe: Kaleigh Sommers 5g, 1a; Quinlyn Shannehan 2g; Hannah Kleinbeck 1g, 1a; Callie Cirilli 1g, 1a; Campbell Eckert 1g; Coco Norman 1g; Anna Paulmann 1g; Goalies: G – Sydney Widlitz 10 saves: L – Kennedy Carr 10 saves; Records: Guilford 6-1; Ludlowe 5-0.
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