Pickens' Perspective: Ludlowe boys lacrosse succeeding despite difficult schedule
Published 1:03 am, Friday, May 7, 2010
The Fairfield Ludlowe boys lacrosse team's start this year was historical.
The Falcons had never been 5-0. They'd never beaten Trumbull, they'd never beaten Norwalk. Things were looking bright
But despite five losses in seven games, things still look bright for Ludlowe.
The Falcons had a must game against St. Joseph, a 7-1 team and the defending Class S champion, on Tuesday night. They had lost four games in a row and a lot of people, myself included, were intrigued to see if those losses were a function of New Canaan, Ridgefield and Darien or a big time slump.
Ludlowe used its strong offense, led by the red-hot trio of Jack Kreitler, Conner Charles and Nate Ryan, to issue the Cadets only their second loss of the season. The Falcons built a 6-2 lead and held on to win 7-5.
A win is a win.
Getting wins in those even FCIAC games are important given the levels of the FCIAC. There is the top level, which includes the Darien's, New Canaan's, Ridgefield's, Wilton's, Greenwich's and Staples' that compete for the FCIAC title every year.
"These guys are the No. 2 program in the state of Connecticut," Ludlowe Head Coach Chris Parisi said of Ridgefield. "And we're not."
But right at the top of that next level is Ludlowe. And that is OK, especially since Ludlowe is building to become like the behemoths of the league. Having an interminably tough conference schedule leads to humbling results, but what Ludlowe's win over St. Joseph proves is that the Falcons are in the upper echelon of the second-tier teams in the FCIAC.
"Darien, New Canaan, Ridgefield, every year you're looking at teams that are in the FCIAC championship and state championship," Parisi said. "The FCIAC is a humbling place to be sometimes."
Being in that level means that Ludlowe is good enough to survive its regular season schedule and reach the state playoffs and when the Falcons get to the Class M tournament, they'll be ready to roll with a talented and battle-tested bunch.
They can also enter the tournament with quality wins under their belt out of the FCIAC. Thus far this year, Ludlowe has beaten current No. 1 in Class M, Conard, Class L power, Hall, and Hamden. Ludlowe lost a tooth and nail game to New York power, Mamaroneck, 6-5, who is 9-2 thus far this year.
In closing with games with Wilton, Stamford, Warde and Staples, Ludlowe could conceivably get to 10 wins and a first round home game in states.
The Falcons could also get a rematch later on in the tournament with a New Canaan or Darien, and who knows what the result will be. Ludlowe's season was ended by Darien a year ago, but the margin was only 6-4.
Even if they don't get 10 wins, reaching the state playoffs is a prize enough, especially as Ludlowe continues to improve in lacrosse.
It could also lead to an historic finish.