Ludlowe girls soccer loses in LL semifinals
The Fairfield Ludlowe girls soccer team is going to to have nightmares of the Class LL semifinals.
The 16th-seeded Falcons were bounced from the state semis for the second straight year, with a 3-2 loss to No. 4 Shelton on Wedneday night at Norwalk High School.
"They're aggressive," Ludlowe head coach Tony Samuelian said of Shelton.
Ludlowe's Mary Kamovitch and Katie Coyle scored goals for the Falcons as Ludlowe ended its year 12-6-2.
The Falcons were eliminated from the Class LL semis for the second consecutive year. Ludlowe was ousted by No. 1 seed Glastonbury in the semis, 3-1 a year ago.
"It's that hurdle we've got to get over," Samuelian said.
Shelton jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of goals just 2:44 apart. Angela Ferro and Megan Manzo tallied the goals, each assisted by the other to put the Gaelettes ahead 2-0. Ferro tallied two goals and an assist for the game.
"This was the first time that anyone scored three goals against us," Samuelian said.
Kamovitch's goal came in the 40th minute as she hit the bottom of the crossbar and the ball trickled over the line to cut the deficit in half, giving Ludlowe some life, going into halftime.
"This group never got down," Samuelian said. "They played with composure, for the most part."
However, Ferro tallied her second goal of the night with 10:16 remaining in regulation, set up by a free kick by Alex Farley. The ball hit Megan Burke in the head and fell to Ferro who blasted it past Blakely Zecher to put the Falcons behind 3-1.
"We didn't mark up defensively like we should have on any of the goals," Samuelian said. "That's been our Achilles' heel all year long."
Ludlowe never wilted though, as Coyle scored on a breakaway with 3:46 left that cut the deficit to one. Lucia Harold had a partial breakaway with just 2:35 left in the game, but the opportunity was turned aside by Shelton goalkeeper Melissa Brouillette.
For Samuelian, the season was a bona fide success, as Ludlowe set a record for shutouts and goals allowed. The team allowed just 13 goals in its 20 games.
"I couldn't ask for more from these kids," Samuelian said. "These kids gave us a season, and should be proud of it."
The Ludlowe coach is also confident that his squad has enough returning to reach this level in a year.
"The bulk of this team will be back," Samuelian said. "I'd be really disappointed if we didn't get this far next year."