After close to 90 minutes of girls soccer, the outcome of the Class 3A Hinsdale Central sectional semifinal between Lyons Township and Wheaton Warrenville South was still up in the air.
But then lightning came Tuesday night and the game was suspended, to be finished Wednesday.
With the scored tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation, the second-seeded Lions and No. 6 Wheaton Warrenville South came close to completing the first of two 10-minute extra sessions before the game was stopped when lightning was spotted with 27 seconds left in the first overtime.
At that point the fans left the Hinsdale Central bleachers and the players took cover inside rooms adjacent to the concession stand to wait out the weather. But after lightning was spotted a few more times, the game was called and will resume at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday with those 27 seconds remaining in the first OT and with the Tigers possessing the ball on a free kick.
"I've never had this where you have to come back," Lions coach Bill Lanspeary said. "I wish we could have finished tonight. But the girls will be fired up for sure tomorrow."
Lyons Township struck first when the Tigers defense failed to clear the ball and junior Erin Fitzgerald blasted a high shot off the fingertips of Tigers goalkeeper Abby Fuster and into the back of the net from 30 yards out with 17:34 left in the first half. But Wheaton Warrenville South answered just 41 seconds later when Dana Miller converted a penalty kick with a low shot to the right side that beat Lyons goalkeeper Lidia Breen. The penalty kick was awarded after Nicole Molino was taken down in the penalty area.
From there neither team mounted a consistent attack, but Fuster was called upon to make one great save in the second half when Ari Kowalski volleyed a corner kick cross out of the air and blasted a point-blank shot on the WW South goal only to have Fuster come up big. Fuster also punched away a tricky one-hop shot off a long free kick by King in overtime.
The Tigers struggled to get off many shots, and the goal was their lone shot on target for the game. Even so, Miller had a threat in the first OT that went wide.
Fitzgerald, meanwhile, admitted that her team was a little frustrated by not being able to score more Tuesday and now knows the Lions need to come back strong if they want to finish things off in style.
"I've never had this situation before," she said of the postponed contest. "Tonight we felt like we were controlling the game and should have been up a couple goals and it was a frustrating situation. Now we have 10 minutes and 27 seconds to play so it's got to be the best 10 minutes and 27 seconds we've ever played."
If the score should remain tied after the two OTs, penalty kicks will determine who advances to the finals at Hinsdale Central against the host school.