Fairfield Ludlowe boys soccer eliminated from FCIAC playoffs with loss to Westhill

Fairfield Ludlowe boys soccer coach Kevin O`Hara thought that his squad would come out hungry in its win-and-in game with Westhill on Wednesday afternoon.

Apparently he thought wrong.

Ludlowe fell behind 2-0 early and Westhill sophomore Mateo Gallego scored three goals as the Vikings beat the Falcons, 4-1 in Stamford.

"We came in here, and were ready to go I felt," O`Hara said. "We were on our heels. Credit Westhill, they`re a talented team."

If Ludlowe had beaten the Vikings it would have qualified for the FCIAC playoffs. However, the loss, coupled with Stamford High School`s win over Darien eliminated the Falcons from playoff contention.

"The boys are disappointed and I`m disappointed," O`Hara said.

Westhill jumped out from the opening whistle as Gallego tallied in the second minute. Gallego took control of the ball in the box and blasted it off the hands of goalkeeper Luke Clifford to put the Vikings ahead 1-0.

Vincent Hope tallied in the 18th minute when he received a great pass from his teammate, then dribbled to his left foot and tapped the ball past a helpless Clifford to put Westhil up by two.

Ludlowe regained some hope in the 20th minute when Casper Gimand tallied for the Falcons. Senior Chris Heyn sent a cross into the box that deflected off of a Westhill defender. Gimand spun and struck the ball in mid-air passed Westhill keeper, Ian Huntoon to make the game 2-1.

Gimand had a chance with just 12 seconds left in the half, but Huntoon stopped his freekick and the game went into halftime 2-1.

"I thought we would have an opportunity there, we were going to get the win in the second half," O`Hara said.

Hope assisted on Gallego`s second goal, which came in the 50th minute. Gallego`s third came just two minutes later, that sent the shellshocked Falcons into desperation.

"It is a type of team that you can not make mistakes against," O`Hara said. "We made four defensive mistakes against them, and they capitalized on every one."

Gimand had two more chances in the second half, but his freekick was stopped by Huntoon and then he was stopped on a penalty kick in the 63rd minute.

"We had some opportunities and we didn`t captialize," O`Hara said. "If we capitalize, it could have been a different game."

Exascerbating Ludlowe`s problem was captain Joey Sisca`s red card. Sisca was given a yellow card for a foul in the second half and was subsequently given a second yellow card after cursing. Sisca was disqualified and will be suspended for Ludlowe`s next game, its first round state game.

"He`s a great kid," O`Hara said of Sisca. "He just lost his composure today."

The red card is especially frustrating to O`Hara as it is the second time in as many years that one of his key players was given a red card in the team`s final regular season game. Gimand was given a red card a year ago and was suspended for the Falcons` first round state playoff game as well.

"I saw it, I learned from my mistake last year," O`Hara said. "I had a sub ready to go in for him, and unfortunately I couldn`t sub on the corner at that position. To lose him is very frustrating."

Ludlowe will play again in the Class L state tournament, likely on Nov. 10.

"We`ll regroup," O`Hara said. "We`ve got to start focusing on states."