Zilling scores two goal, Ludlowe stuns Amity

“It was all or nothing for us from the start,” Fairfield Ludlowe girls soccer coach Kate Dawson said of her 22nd-seeded Falcons first-round Class LL state tournament game with 11th-seeded Amity High in Woodbridge on Monday afternoon. “I told them to go in to the game like they were down 2-0. The girls played controlled, intense soccer for 80 minutes.”
Ludlowe (9-7-1) defeated Amity (10-4-3) by a score of 2-1 and will play in the second round of states on the road against William Hall (13-1-3) of West Hartford on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Lindsay Zilling answered an own goal by Ludlowe in the game’s 8th minute with a pair of tallies, the first only 1:03 after the Spartans took the lead. Her second goal came off a carom of her own shot with 21:07 remaining.
“It’s a huge win,” said Zilling, a senior striker. “It was definitely a team effort. We’ve worked all year to move the ball up field the way we did today.”
Ludlowe’s territorial edge wasn’t lost on Amity High coach Owen Quigley.
“I thought we had the better of the play for most of the first half, but then they found their feet and didn’t allow us to be aggressive,” he said.
“They pushed the ball around nicely. In balance, they deserved it more than we did.”
Limited to through-ball opportunities for much of the game by Ludlowe’s steady back four of Caroline Rooney, Annie McNamara, Kate Kovaleski and Alex Wykoff, the Spartans were held at bay until they mustered an offensive thrust in the later half of the second session.
“We had four chances in the last fifteen minutes,” Quigley said. “One the keeper (Caroline Serniak) made a great stop, two others we missed the mark and the other we shot right at her.”
Serniak’s decisive save came when Amity’ Jackie Smith got free and faced Serniak in the box. Her right-footed boot was kicked clear by Serniak’s left foot with 14:41 remaining.
Amity took the lead off a free kick by Cassie Giza. The 40-yarder was headed in a crowd by a Ludlowe defender trying to mark the Spartans’ towering Alexa Gibbs and past Serniak on a bounce  at 22:24.
Off the restart, Ludlowe attacked and Zilling beat Amity keeper  Zole Reed with McNamara getting the assist at the 21:12 mark of the first half.
Ludlowe’s perserverence paid off in the second half, after Bradley beat her marker to the right of Reed, and then angled a pass to Zilling in front.
Zilling’s first shot was blocked by Reed, but she stayed with the play and knocked the carom home for a 2-1 lead at 21:07 that held up the rest of the way.
See the next edition of the Sun for complete game story.

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