Pickens' Perspective: Fairfield Ludlowe girls lacrosse finally believing that it is good
Continuity is an important part of team sports.
Becoming familiar with surroundings and consistency is important to the flow of a team. More important is consistency with coaching, especially with high school kids.
As a senior, having four coaches in four years is problematic, but the Fairfield Ludlowe girls lacrosse team doesn't seem to mind this year.
First-year coach Amy Alvord finally seems to have left her mark and is winning. The club started the year 5-1, which was the best start in school history. But even they knew that they hadn't been tested yet.
The Falcons finally were tested on Tuesday, and they passed with flying colors. Ludlowe's eye-opening, 13-12 win over Staples puts the Falcons on the level with the elite of the state.
What was more remarkable was Ludlowe's resilience throughout the contest. The Falcons were behind for the majority of the night as Staples jumped ahead from the outset, 6-2.
Ludlowe hadn't been behind, really at all, the whole season. Even in the Falcons' one loss this year, Ludlowe led Norwalk throughout. In past years, the Falcons would wilt in tough spots.
But this year's Falcons were more than willing to respond to the challenge of the Lady Wreckers. Ludlowe outscored Staples 7-5 in the second half.
Staples even took the lead with 44 seconds left in regulation with a sure heartbreaking goal.
But Tierney Larson, who the entire state will have trouble stopping this year, wouldn't accept a 12-11 loss. The senior captain tied the game with just 14 seconds left.
"She's really all-around a great person to have on the field," Alvord said of Larson.
Sophomore Sarah Nesi won the game in overtime with just 2:17 left in the period and the long, cold night ended with victory.
A win over Staples should serve as a wakeup call to anyone who wants to take the Falcons lightly. Ludlowe can score with Larson or Nesi, but sophomore Kendall Stephenson is in the mix on offense too. Christy Barre has scored in consecutive games.
Ludlowe is also finally starting to see success pan out. Alvord has instilled in the Falcons the belief that success should be happening, but like most teams, it takes a while to sink in.
"I think they're not used to being a good team," she said after Ludlowe's 17-7 win over St. Joseph on Saturday. "We're trying to get them to realize that that's the way it is."
The belief is finally beginning to sink in, and as it does the fun degree for Ludlowe should grow as well.
"It's really fun," Alvord said.
Now Ludlowe knows it can compete with most anyone in the state. The Falcons should qualify for the states for the first time since 2007 and banish the heartbreak of the last two seasons.
What is next is to see if the Falcons can compete with mighty Darien, who they play today. If Ludlowe can beat the Blue Wave, then this season could take a turn from successful to historic.
Either way, the more Ludlowe plays together the more continuity and camaraderie takes over, which can't be bad for anyone.