Ludlowe trumps Darien boys soccer in opener
FAIRFIELD -- There's little more a team can ask from its season opener than a worthy opponent at home under the lights. Except, of course, a convincing win.
After 80 minutes of play Tuesday night, the Ludlowe boys soccer team got everything it could have wanted.
Senior Matt Doyle and junior Niklas Stahle scored second-half goals to lead the Falcons past Darien 3-0 at Taft field. Blue Wave goalie Liam Rischmann made nine saves, but could not stop two well-placed shots in the final 20 minutes that sealed his team's fate.
"I'm very happy with the way my boys played tonight," Ludlowe coach Kevin O'Hara said. "I thought they played very disciplined. We held our shape real nicely, and we were able to get some creativity up top. We're still not there yet, but we've got some good players this year and they've been working hard. So a 3-0 win against a well-coached team from the first night, we'll take it."
Falcons junior Brendan Layne was credited with the only score of the first half, an own goal against Darien set up by a beautiful run down the left flank.
"They were playing in the middle pretty strong, so we were talking about trying to get outside," O'Hara said. "Brendan Layne made a great a run up the side and got it across ¦ I think it was an own goal on them, but it was just a fabulous run how we caught them on the outside, were able to get a quick ball across and attack the box and when you attack the box, sometimes good things happen."
Beset by a number of minor injuries, including a midgame cramp suffered by star forward Kai Bjornstad, the Blue Wave was forced to deploy nine underclassmen in the second half. Darien's best offensive opportunity came with nine minutes to go, as senior Henrik Stockinger served the ball from the deep right corner and into the box for Andrew Mathew, who failed to get enough of his head on the ball to redirect.
Despite his team's youth and poor injury luck, Wave coach Jon Bradley said the game's outcome ultimately came down to a much simpler concept.
"We just got beat by a better team," Bradley said. "In the attacking third of the field, we just didn't create enough chances. Obviously, when we pushed forward more in the last 15 minutes, the game was going to be more open. We took a few chances and then 2-0 or 3-0, it's the same thing."
Fairfield Ludlowe 3, Darien 0
DARIEN 0 0--0
LUDLOWE 1 1--2
Records: Darien 0-1; Fairfield Ludlowe 1-0. Goals: Ludlowe--Brendan Layne , Niklas Stahle, Matt Doyle. Assists: McCardle 2, asst Richie Bellucci. Goalies: Darien--Liam Rischmann (9 saves) Ludlowe--Fred Meagher (6). Shots: Darien 8; Ludlowe 13.