For the Warde field hockey team, it turned out that 15th time is the charm. After 45 minutes of not converting opportunities, the Mustangs' persistence finally paid off when Lindsey Adams found the back of the net on Warde's 15th penalty corner of the game.
"We had been successful at our penalty corners up until today," Warde coach Jodie Shannon said. "But with Ludlowe stopping so many, I was worried it would affect our confidence level. But we pulled it out."
Adams and Erin Hines scored 3:45 apart midway through the second half to propel Warde to a 2-0 win over rival Ludlowe on Monday night at Tetreau/Davis Field.
With the win, Warde (3-1-1) avenged last season's loss to the Falcons and began its four-game homestand with a crucial win.
Both teams were coming off 6-0 defeats, to Wilton and Darien, respectively, but it was the Mustangs who were quicker out of the blocks.
Warde created chance after chance, leading to a 25-4 edge in shots and a 22-1 advantage in penalty corners.
"It's always one of the toughest games of the season, irrelevant of how either team is doing because it is a town rivalry," Shannon said. "These girls play together and most of them know each other. We were excited we were able to play at our level tonight in that atmosphere."
The game would have been over far sooner had it not been for the outstanding performance of Falcons goalie Riley Thompson. The junior had 17 saves and led a defense that frustrated the hosts for three quarters of the game.
"It was very nerve-racking, but our defense was very communicative and tonight we really worked well together," Thompson said.
Warde broke the deadlock on a penalty corner. Adams shook off an onrushing defender, created enough space to pick her spot and fired a low shot that found its way past Thompson.
"After I beat the first defender, I kept noticing there was a little room to the right, so I took the shot and my forwards created a lane for me and it went in," Adams said. "It was a great team effort."
"It was a very smooth corner, (Warde) worked it out very well," Thompson said. "I was more towards the center thinking they would go tip-in on the left side and (Adams) went to the tip-in on my right side."
The Mustangs doubled their advantage shortly after, also from a penalty corner.
This time, Adams turned provider for Hines, who fired a shot that bounced off the shoulder of a Ludlowe defender and into the net.
"(Adams) had a stellar game today," Shannon said. "We have high expectations of her because she is such a great player It was awesome to see her move around and control the whole game."
Ludlowe (1-3) was unable to generate any offense and ultimately had to settle for its third consecutive defeat.
"They were anticipating a little bit quicker than we were," Falcons coach Cathy Hamill said. "Warde's stick skills were stronger than ours; that's something we have to continue to work on."
On the other hand, the Mustangs have won three of five games to begin the season after winning six all of last season.
"We've had a tough schedule to start the season, Ludlowe included," Shannon said. "We have come along nicely and are playing as well as we can expect for such a young team."
Warde is next in action on Thursday against New Canaan, while Ludlowe plays host to Ridgefield.
Warde 2, Ludlowe 0
FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE 0-0 -- 0
FAIRFIELD WARDE 0-2 -- 2
Records: Fairfield Ludlowe 1-3; Fairfield Warde 3-1-1.
Goals: FW--Lindsey Adams, Erin Hines; Assists: FW--Adams; Goalies: FL--Riley Thompson (17 saves); FW--Katy Stepsis (1).