Despite an earlier ending to its season than it was accustomed to, the Fairfield Ludlowe girls lacrosse team still overcame obstacles in 2012.

Despite a late coach hiring, Ludlowe still qualified for FCIAC and state tournaments.

No. 11 Ludlowe's season was ended by sixth-seeded Simsbury, 15-8, in the Division L first round Thursday in Simsbury.

"There wasn't a lot of intensity from our team," junior Lizzie Pratt said. "And we made a lot of small mistakes. Once we got the intensity, it was too little, too late."

Ludlowe was a state semifinalist in 2011, a year after winning the Division II state tournament. The Falcons finished 9-8 and failed to win a state tournament game in a year they qualified for states for the first time since 2007.

"We've all been playing together since we were in fifth grade at Wakeman," junior KC McAuliffe said. "They were a great group of girls."

Ludlowe graduates seven, three of whom-- Charlotte O'Donnell, Sarah Nesi and Kendall Stevenson-- will advance to Division I college lacrosse. According to Pratt, the trio and the other four seniors, each aided the team in different ways.

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"There were a lot of tears," Pratt said. "I learned a lot from all of them, they each taught us in their own way. They were great players and great leaders."

Both Pratt and McAuliffe praised first-year head coach Katy Delagi, as well. Delagi was Ludlowe's assistant in 2011, before taking the reins in the winter.

"We were thankful to have her as a coach," Pratt said. "We were lucky that we had a coach at all this year."

The juniors have set their sights on Ludlowe's 2013 campaign. Both believe Delagi's stability and an increased emphasis on stick skills, will boost the Falcons back near the state's upper echelon next year.

"We know we can get wins," McAuliffe said. "That's the main thing we're looking for."

ppickens@bcnnew.com; twitter.com/Pat_Pickens