Ludlowe field hockey falls in FCIAC quarters to New Canaan

Beating New Canaan was not a problem for the Fairfield Ludlowe field hockey team this year.

Beating New Canaan in the FCIAC playoffs, on the other hand, was.

The Rams got a goal and an assist apiece from Austin Ready and Alexandra Jonker as the No. 5 seed, New Canaan beat No. 4 Ludlowe, 2-0 in the FCIAC quarterfinals on Saturday at Brien McMahon High School.

"I think that my girls played well, but I think when you get to the FCIAC tournament, you need every one of your starters here mentally," Ludlowe coach Cathy Hamill said. "I don't think that was the case today."

New Canaan goalie Amanda Milunovich stopped seven shots to preserve the shutout. The Rams will advance to take on either Darien on Tuesday at New Canaan High School.

"They did a good job," Hamill said of New Canaan. "I take my hat off to them."

The Rams avenged a 2-1 loss at the hands of the Falcons in the regular season. Ludlowe goalie Jill Moffett stopped one shot for the Falcons.

New Canaan got on the board with 16 minutes left in the first half when Falcone preserved the ball on the line, and found Ready who slid the ball past a sprawling Moffett to put the Rams up 1-0.

Ludlowe's Elise Perazzini had a chance with 20 minutes left to tie, but Milunovich turned her aside to keep the Rams ahead.

"I think we played well," Hamill said. "But I don't think we were mentally prepared."

Jonker's goal came off of a penalty corner in a net mouth scramble. Ready's initial shot was stopped, but Jonker tallied to put the Rams up 2-0.

Hamill admitted that her team may have suffered from nerves with its first trip to the FCIAC playoffs.

"It's a new experience for them," Hamill said. "I'm sure they were a little awestruck."

Hamill was disappointed with the loss, but is content with the fact that the Falcons will be able to get rested and healthy as the Falcons gear up for the Class L state playoffs. The Falcons should have a good seed and a first round home game when the tournament starts on Nov. 10.

"We're ready to move on to the states," Hamill said. "We can re-group, relax and come back and be physically and mentally prepared."