Boys Soccer Ludlowe keeps the prize
FAIRFIELD — To put it bluntly, the Swedish Cup is a crazy looking trophy. For the most part, it’s indescribable. Ugly, might be a better word.
But to watch the Ludlowe boys’ soccer team take the trophy from head coach Kevin O’Hara and hold it high, jumping around like they’d just won the World Cup, it doesn’t matter what it looks like. All that matters is that it will continue to reside in the Falcons’ trophy case.
Since 2005, Ludlowe has possessed the Swedish Cup, every year except one and thanks to a 0-0 tie with Warde on a chilly Wednesday night at Tetreau-Davis Field, the Falcons took the cup home. Again.
“Oh, this is such a rivalry,” O’Hara said. “The kids get very excited about keeping the trophy. We’ve had it for a long time. We fight for that trophy, it’s kind of silly … it’s ugly, but it’s a tradition and they take great pride in keeping it.”
Heading into the game, Warde stood in fourth place in the FCIAC playoff standings with 28 points while Ludlowe held down the No. 6 spot with 25 points and with both sides adding a point to their total, will likely continue to hold position heading into the season’s final week.
“It was an exciting game … we’ve still got a couple of games left to try and get some points for the FCIAC’s,” O’Hara said. “To me, this is such a great experience for the kids, playing in this kind of atmosphere, in front of this kind of crowd, this is one of the best Warde teams that I’ve ever seen and for us to come here and get one point, yes, I’m very happy.”
So was Warde coach Justin Ottavio.
“I’m proud of what our guys did. They showed how dynamic they are.”
At the beginning of the season, the Mustangs were basically also-rans in the FCIAC. Of the preseason top eight teams, Warde wasn’t anywhere close. And after two games, Ottavio’s squad was 0-2.
“We weren’t in the (preseason) poll,” Ottavio said. “But that was OK with me because I prefer to be the underdog.”
Well, that underdog has been biting a lot of teams in the FCIAC of late. Wednesday’s tie pushed Warde’s record to 9-3-2 and has them undefeated (4-0-2) in its last six.
“We’ve shown that we can play with anyone and that we are a force to be reckoned with,” Ottavio said. “Heading into both of the postseason tournaments, we are going to establish a legacy for Warde soccer.”
With Daniel Villalba, Jake Berecz and Lucas Montero generating solid scoring chances, Warde controlled the possession, and the momentum over the initial 10-plus minutes but couldn’t get anything past Falcons’ keeper Nicholas Tenreiro. Then, it was Ludlowe’s turn to fire up the offensive pressure as Patrick Kilbride, Matthew Rullo, Zaid Atta and Nico Rullo tested Mustangs keeper Cameron Millington over the next 20 minutes, but each time, Millington was up to the task.
“He (Millington) made a ton (of saves), I’ve known him since he was a little boy,” O’Hara said of the Mustangs keeper. “His reflexes, that’s one of his strengths. We had a free kick and we one touched it toward the goal and he was right there, that’s a credit to him.”
“Millington has dealt with some trials and tribulations of late,” Ottavio said. “But he’s righted the ship, and he’s on course to fulfill his expectations and that’s to be a solid force in the back.”
The Falcons hit the road for its final two games of the season, Saturday at Norwalk and Monday at Wilton. Warde, meanwhile, will be home on Saturday, facing McMahon and on Monday against Ridgefield.
“We still need to work on some things on offense,” O’Hara said. “We have Norwalk and that’s no joke then Wilton. Then we’ll know where we are.”
Ludlowe’s Nico Rullo and Warde’s Lucas Montero were named MVP’s.
LUDLOWE 0, WARDE 0
LUDLOWE 0 0 — 0
WARDE 0 0 — 0
Records: Ludlowe (8-4-2), Warde (9-3-2) Shots: Warde — 10, Ludlowe — 9 Saves: Warde — Cameron Millington (9), Ludlowe — Nicholas Tenreiro (10)