Despite surrendering a tie-breaking goal in the final minute of regulation, the Fairfield Ludlowe High School girls' lacrosse team didn't give up and rallied to nip Staples in a dramatic 13-12 overtime thriller at home on Tuesday night. The Falcons, in doing so, avenged an overtime defeat to Staples last year.

Sarah Nesi scored what turned out to be the decisive goal with 2:17 left in the six-minute overtime period. The Wreckers tried desperately to re-tie the score but the Falcons held off their neighboring town FCIAC foes to improve to 6-1 overall. Staples, meanwhile, dropped its third straight to fall to 4-4 this spring.

After Staples built a 6-2 lead, the Falcons came back and pulled to within 7-5 at halftime, then scored the first three goals of the second half for an 8-7 advantage. The game was a back-and-forth affair from that point on, and the Wreckers appeared poised to win it when Adele Mackey scored on an 8-meter shot with only 42 seconds remaining.

Ludlowe got control off the ensuing faceoff and Tierney Larson sparked a celebration on the Falcons' bench when she sent the game into overtime with just 14 ticks left on the scoreboard clock.

"They're fighters,' Ludlowe Coach Amy Alvord said.

Larson and Nesi both logged four goals, and Kendall Stevenson had two for the Falcons. The Wreckers were led by Maeve Flaherty's three tallies.

"It was a good game. There was a lot of passion from both schools," Staples Coach Cathy Schager said.

Both teams anticipated this being a close one.

"We knew this would be our toughest game so far," added the Falcons' coach.

Aside from a one-goal setback to Norwalk, has beaten every team by no less than four goals to this point.

The Falcons seemed to gain momentum late in the first half and that spilled over into the early stages of the second half.

After Staples tied the score, the Falcons got the next two as Larson and Nesi got back-to-back goals. Staples closed the gap and got to within 10-9 and Ludlowe regained its two-goal cushion on another goal by Nesi.

Staples went on to score the next three for a 12-11 lead before the Falcons came back yet again.

"It just goes proves that we can really step up when we play the better teams," Ludlowe Assistant Coach Beth Loffredo said.

"We expect more great things," Alvord added.

The teams will meet again -- next time on Wednesday at Staples High School.