Fairfield Ludlowe girls soccer eliminated from FCIAC playoffs by New Canaan
Following its dramatic win in the FCIAC quarterfinals over Westhill, the Fairfield Ludlowe girls soccer team was looking to retain magic and play its way into the finals.
However, the Falcons ran into a buzzsaw.
New Canaan tallied a pair of goals in the first 20 minutes of game action and the Rams smothered the Falcons offense as No. 2 New Canaan bombarded No. 6 Ludlowe, 4-0 in the FCIAC semifinals at Wilton High School.
"This is an explosive team," Ludlowe head coach Tony Samuelian said. "This is a team that at any point can do whatever they want."
Liz Bruno tallied twice, and Caroline Murray notched a goal and an assist as the Rams will play No. 1 seed Ridgefield for the FCIAC championship tonight at 5 p.m. at Norwalk High School. New Canaan avenged a 1-1 tie that it played with the Falcons on Oct. 13.
"We came out a little more tenative than we normally do," Samuelian said. "
Ludlowe's Blakely Zecher kept the Falcons in the game early as New Canaan got chances right from the opening kickoff. Zecher stopped 10 Rams shots, including one from Bruno in the first 30 seconds of action.
Ludlowe kept the Rams at bay until the 10th minute when Murray and teammate Abby Lee combined for a stellar give-and-go play that wound up in the back of the Ludlowe net to put New Canaan on top 1-0.
"New Canaan is quick," Samuelian said. "I don't think there are too many teams that can defend that once they are playing well."
That was all that the Rams would need as the New Canaan defense frustrated the Falcons front line. Ludlowe switched its defensive alignment to put just three defenders back, which was designed to give the Falcons more offense. New Canaan's defenders marked Ludlowe's forwards, Chrissy Lozier, Mary Kamovitch and any of the forwards that Ludlowe subbed in and out.
"All things said, we caught breaks on Saturday and we didn't catch any tonight," Samuelian said. "We didn't create many for ourselves either."
The Falcons will now look to the state playoffs, as the Class LL tournament starts on Monday. The Falcons will likely play a home game and could potentially play two depending on how the tournament shakes out.
"We've got to refocus," he said. "The state tournament is next."