Fairfield Ludlowe girls soccer advances to state quarterfinals

The Fairfield Ludlowe girls soccer team is starting to get used to these high drama victories.

The Falcons' Chrissy Lozier tallied an assist and the game-winning goal with just 6:45 left in the game as No. 13 Ludlowe outlasted No. 4 Wilbur Cross, 2-1 in the second round of the Class LL state playoffs on Wednesday in East Haven.

"We've worked really hard this season," Lozier said. "To see it pay off and advance is great."

Blakely Zecher stopped 11 Wilbur Cross shots, including a key save off of a free kick with less than two minutes to play in regulation. Zecher lunged to stop Wilbur Cross' Cleo O'Brien-Udry to preserve the win.

"We wanted to win," Zecher said. "I was thinking I can't let the seniors go out here."

The game wasn't all downhill for Ludlowe as the Falcons fell behind from the start. Natalie Beach tallied with 12 minutes left in the first half. Beach's goal came from AnnaKate Schatz and put the Governors ahead 1-0.

"We didn't lay down," Ludlowe head coach Tony Samuelian said. "We worked hard."

The Falcons responded just a minute later as Lozier ran the ball ahead into the box and found Lucia Harold who beat Governor goalkeeper Katie Delasdis and tied the game.

The Falcons found themselves on the defensive in the second half as Zecher saved Ludlowe a number of times. Zecher stopped Charlotte Beach with just 12 minutes left in regulation. Ludlowe also caught a break when Ahriel Fernandez's shot sailed just wide of the net from about 10 yards.

"My head was in the game," Zecher said. "I was just focusing on getting the ball."

The Falcons finally tallied the go-ahead goal off of a corner kick. Brooke Mackno crossed the ball into the box and the ball landed at the feet of an unmarked Lozier. The senior captain tallied her fourth goal of the state playoffs by pounding the ball off of the post and into the net.

"It wasn't the prettiest of goals," Lozier said. "But a goal is a goal."

Ludlowe advances to the quarterfinals of Class LL which will be played today against No. 12 seed Pomperaug. The Panthers will host the game at 2 p.m.

"If the kids don't know what they have in front of them now, there is nothing we can say," Samuelian said. "