Farifield Ludlowe girls soccer beats Pomperaug to advance to Class LL semifinals
The way Fairfield Ludlowe girls soccer team is rolling, even when Chrissy Lozier is slowed the Falcons continue to win.
"I can't say enough about my girls," Ludlowe head coach Tony Samuelian said. "It was gratifying that someone else could step up big."
Ludlowe advanced to take on top-seeded Glastonbury in a game that was completed after press time. If the Falcons could upset the Tomahawks, they'd move to the Class LL final on either Friday or Saturday.
"This is the first time we've been there in LLs," Samuelian said. "We've been there before as an "M" team."
Lozier, the Falcons star player who has scored four goals in the Falcons' three state playoff games was held pointless for the first time since Ludlowe's FCIAC semifinal loss to New Canaan. Samuelian credited the Panthers' tough style of play.
"She got banged around pretty good," Samuleian said. "She plays more on the rug than she does on her feet."
Zecher came up large for the Falcons for the majority of the afternoon as the junior goalkeeper was able to keep the Panthers off of the scoreboard. Zecher also caught some luck from the crossbar when Alexa Jakiela's shot hit the bar and sailed over the net in the 25th minute.
"I was hoping it didn't go in," Zecher said. "I tried to reach for it, but when it went past me, I was hoping that it wouldn't go in."
Samuelian was confident that if Ludlowe could hold Pomperaug off of the board in the first half when the Panthers had the wind advantage, that his team would be able to take advantage in the second.
"We knew that if we could get into the second half, that we would have the advantage scoring," Samuelian said. "We just had to get past the first half."
Harold finally put the Falcons on the board in the 55th minute on a pass from Brooke Mackno. Harold found herself all alone in front of the Panthers' goal, and after being stopped twice, finally beat Pomperaug goalkeeper Kate Nadler to put Ludlowe ahead for the junior's third goal of the season and second of the state playoffs.
"The whole team has been stepping it up," Harold said. "We've had a lot of opportuinities and I've just been there to finish."
"She has the speed to turn it on and make it happen," Samuelian said.
From there, Ludlowe remained vigiliant on defense, and Zecher made a few key stops to preserve the win. The Falcons' players also thought that they benefitted from the conditions in the second half.
"I definitely think we had the advantage playing with the wind in the second half." Zecher said.