The Falcons admitted that, while it was unplanned, their goal just 12 seconds into the game was a big lift.

"In all my years of doing this, I don't think we ever scored a goal this fast," Fairfield Ludlowe coach Kevin O'Hara said.

The goal-- scored by Jason Fromme-- added to the game's already heightened theater, according to Ludlowe's captain Tobias Gimand.

"It was a bit surreal," Gimand said. "It wasn't part of the plan, but it's always nice to be up 1-0 after 12 seconds."

From Warde coach Justin Ottavio's vantage point, the Mustangs were stunned by the moment.

"It was a brilliant play," he said. "We got caught ball-watching and a bit awe-struck based on the scope of the game."

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Halftime at

the perfect time

O'Hara admitted that halftime came at the perfect time for the Falcons.

"At halftime we were on our heels," he said. "The last five or 10, they had us."

Warde scored with at the first half's 14:44 mark and O'Hara saw the field tilting in the Mustangs' favor.

Ottavio shared that sentiment.

"Our plan was executed very effectively," Ottavio said. "We had momentum."

O'Hara also was surprised that the Mustangs did not re-take the momentum when the second half began.

"I honestly thought in tht second half, they would've put that pressure back on us," O'Hara said. "I was proud of my boys, we weathered the storm and we actually got the better of the play the first 10, 15 minutes."

A composed bunch

Ottavio did not only credit his team's heart and resilience, but also the Mustangs' composure.

"One thing I need to credit the three goal-scorers was their composure in front of the net," Ottavio said. "If they weren't disciplined and composed, we wouldn't have been able to come back."

Warde left no doubt on three offensive efforts, cashing in on the majority of its chances and O'Hara even credited the Mustangs' goal-scoring prowess.

"They served great balls in," O'Hara said. "Credit to them, they scored two nice goals there."

Time to Teach

Ludlowe missed out on the state tournament a year ago and O'Hara knows the price of not finishing games.

He admitted he'll use the Falcons' blown two-goal lead as a point of emphasis.

"Without a doubt," O'Hara said when asked if blowing a lead was a teachable moment.

O'Hara also thought his team sat back, and said that was not a directive he gave.

"I think we sat back a little bit too much holding the lead," he said. "I didn't direct it, they started sitting back a little bit."

Crowd control

Warde and Ludlowe each had vociferous crowds. Ludlowe's flaunted a Denmark flag.

Gimand admitted the fans and non-partisan bystanders were treated.

"From a neutral perspective it was probably a really fun game to watch," he said.

Pat Pickens