It wasn't that Rosary and St. Francis didn't try to get Thursday's key Suburban Christian Conference match played. In fact the Royals and Spartans tried mightily to get their match at Glenbard South finished.
But thunder and lightning and the prospect that those conditions would not relent eventually led to the match being stopped after two lengthy delays -- though nearly 50 minutes of scoreless game play was finished before the match was finally stopped with 32:17 left in the second half.
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With both teams having two remaining conference matches, Rosary sits at 12-3-3 overall and and 6-0 in the SCC, and St. Francis is 13-0, 6-0.
"I think our girls were ready to play and pumped to play and willing to wait because they wanted to get this game in," Rosary coach Kristy Kane said. "But it's just too late. They're high school girls too and they need to do their homework and get up early tomorrow. I had girls doing homework on the bus during the delay. They're good little students."
A date and a site and the nature of the makeup contest have yet to be decided. Rosary hosts Marian Central on Monday in a rescheduled contest. St. Francis hosts Wheaton Academy on Thursday at Glenbard South.
"Technically, the rule is that we go back and play the 32 and if it's tied, we'd go to OT," St. Francis coach Jim Winslow said. "But the conference may override that."
The match was first stopped with 12:09 to play in the first half, and St. Francis had been the aggressor to that point. Taylor Bucaro hit a left-to-right dipping shot over the crossbar 6 minutes into the contest.
Ten minutes later, Sarah Rahman had a long-range effort saved by Rosary keeper Lauren Frasca. Bucaro hit a free kick over the goal midway through the half and Taylor VanThournout had an effort toward goal collected by Frasca before the first delay.
"I think it helped us a little, the little break," Kane said. "My girls were joking that maybe if we had breaks every 20 minutes and play quarters, that might be good for us. After the first stoppage, we came out and made adjustments and played really well. We nearly had one at the end."
By the time the teams returned to the field and warmed up to play, over an hour had passed and neither team created a clear chance before halftime.
"The first 20 minutes, we were playing pretty well and in control of the play," Winslow said. "Then you go into a delay and there was 12 minutes where there wasn't much going on and then there's halftime and it's even."
From the resumption of the match, Rosary began to thread passes together better and twice St. Francis defender Kate Roback had to scramble the ball to safety, the first time from a Taylor Gibson ball into the area and the second time from a penalty area scramble.
"I was really proud of our girls," Kane said. "It is hard to sit around for an hour and come back and play. But they did, so I was really happy with how they came out and played the close to 20 minutes that we got in when we started."
Two minutes later, the match was stopped and play never resumed. Both coaches agreed with the decision to halt the match.
"It's cold out and the field's wet and the conditions are getting worse and the kids are getting stiff," Winslow said. "It leads into a situation of who gets a lucky break, and that's no way to determine the game for the conference."
Winslow said he would be in favor of replaying the match from the opening whistle, but the SCC may rule otherwise.