Pickens' Perspective: Ludlowe boys lacrosse, Warde softball still just short of elite status
Published 12:45 pm, Friday, April 29, 2011
There's an old saying that goes "the more things change, the more they stay the same."
If you've followed sports in town this week, you know the adage applies, especially for the Fairfield Warde softball and Fairfield Ludlowe boys lacrosse teams.
The Falcons laxmen entered their game with New Canaan -- its biggest of the half season -- with a 6-1 record that included quality wins over Conard, Norwalk and Southington.
On top of that, Ludlowe had seemingly everything going in the right direction to take down the Rams this year. New Canaan is self-proclaimed as "young", Ludlowe is experienced, the game was on the Falcons' home field. If ever there was a time for Ludlowe to announce itself as and presence in the FCIAC and state, it was Wednesday.
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So what happened?
The Falcons scored just three goals -- two at even-strength-- and lost, 8-3. Ludlowe's shooting was terrible, and its offense seemed lethargic.
I'm not the only one who thinks that either.
"We didn't give a Fairfield Ludlowe effort today at all," Ludlowe coach Chris Parisi said. "We let one get by here."
In the case of the Warde softball team, everything had lined up for it, as well, to beat Trumbull for the first time in its history. The Eagles entered their game with Warde Wednesday 6-3, just a ½ game better than the Mustangs.
But Warde appeared to sleepwalk through six innings, falling behind 8-2. It almost seemed as though the mere sight of the Trumbull gold uniforms spooked Warde, as the Mustangs were dropping fly balls and making miscues to give the Eagles extra outs.
"We have to put it all together," Warde coach Gary Quiricone said. "If we do that, we'll win the games."
Warde fought, scoring two runs and loading the bases, before falling 8-4. If you're Warde, you simply can't wait that long to score runs against a team like Trumbull.
In every sport in the FCIAC, there are upper-echelon teams. New Canaan lax and Trumbull softball are those teams. Warde softball and Ludlowe lacrosse fashion themselves as rising programs who are just on the outside looking in.
Don't get me wrong, these losses are not bad losses. Trumbull softball has lost 17 regular season games since 2005. New Canaan boys lacrosse has reached the Class M semifinals four of the last five years.
It's just at some point, these two teams are going to have to win a game like this if they're going to want to reach that next level. It's perfectly OK to be the fifth best team in the FCIAC, but I know Warde softball and Ludlowe boys lacrosse are not satisfied as that.
"The guys have to decide what we want to be," Parisi said. "Do they want to be the team that is 6-1? Or are the they the team that showed up tonight?"
Both teams have the opportunity to get signature wins, still, this year. Ludlowe lacrosse has Wilton, Ridgefield and Darien coming up. Warde will take on Westhill on Monday.
But it's looking like the same old, same old for both.