Here’s your winner: Jake Fratarcangeli to Liam Kessler with the 2OT snipe as Ludlowe takes out New Canaan 8-7 in the Class L qualifying (lol) round #ctlax via @NCTV78 and @IanNicholas25 pic.twitter.com/fJKFWFAEot
— Sean Patrick Bowley (@SPBowley) May 29, 2021
All season, Fairfield Ludlowe has been a thorn in the sides of some of the state’s top boys lacrosse teams. At the biggest moment, the pesky Falcons took one of them down.
Goalie Murphy Hoey didn’t allow a goal for the last 26-plus minutes, and Liam Keesser’s goal 1:24 into the second four-minute overtime period gave Ludlowe an 8-7 win at New Canaan on Saturday in the CIAC Class L qualifying round.
Ludlowe’s regular season included a four-goal loss at New Canaan, which had been ranked second in the GameTimeCT Top 10 poll; a three-goal loss to No. 4 Staples; a two-goal loss at No. 6 Ridgefield; and a one-goal loss to No. 5 Wilton, which the Falcons led until late in the game.
“I think those games through the year definitely showed us we could hang with the best of the FCIAC,” Ludlowe coach Steve Swett said.
“It gave the guys confidence. Even though we didn’t come out on top in any of those games, though we ended up playing in a qualifier, we felt we were a better team. We felt we could hang with any team.”
Liam Keesser: game winning goal pic.twitter.com/fFbAaOISpF
— Ludlowe Boys Lacrosse (@flhslax) May 29, 2021
The 20th-seeded Falcons will visit fourth-seeded Cheshire, ranked ninth in the last poll, in the Class L first round on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
“I’m just so happy the seniors get another couple of days,” Swett said.
Senior Will Geary, who moved from offense to defense early in the year and whose do-whatever ethic Swett called “the embodiment of the team,” won a battle for a loose ball off the second-OT faceoff Saturday.
On the winning goal, Jake Fratarcangeli, behind the net, spun away from a defender to find Keesser, five yards above the goal line at the left football hash mark, for a shot over goalie Holden Busby’s left shoulder.
“We saw an opportunity for one of our end-line plays, and we called it,” Swett said.
“To see it from that angle, too, on the sideline … as soon as you see the net move, feel that wave of excitement behind you.”
The assist was Fratarcangeli’s 100th point.
Colin McCarthy scored four goals for Ludlowe, including the tying goal with 9:11 left. Keesser put the ball in the net about four minutes later, but the goal was waved off for a crease violation.
New Canaan (10-8), Class L’s 13th seed, played two playoff games and lost both 8-7 in double overtime. Wilton’s Grant Masterson’s goal ended an FCIAC quarterfinal game.