Cross-town rivals Laurel Highlands and Uniontown played through the first half without any adverse weather conditions, but a flash of lightning caused a delay, and ultimately a suspension of Wednesday's Section 2-AAA girls' soccer match at Mustang Field with the hosts holding a 1-0 lead.
The second half of the match will be completed at a time and date to be determined. The 10-minute halftime clock was down to roughly three minutes when the referee signaled to stop the clock due to lighting. The normal procedure is to wait 30 minutes after a flash of lightning is witnessed, but the decision was made to finish the match at a later date and time before the delay period ended.
"It's not too often that a game gets suspended, but I've had one or two happen in my career," Uniontown coach Lara Dowling said.
The Fillies (1-1, 1-2) obtained the lead at 31:23 when Journey Greer took advantage of a scramble in front, and after a deflection was sent back to the Laurel Highlands' forward, she sent a shot past Lady Red Raiders keeper Morgan Pecsko.
"We will just set what happens when we finish the second half," Laurel Highlands coach Dave Sohyda said. "Uniontown is starting to build a program and it's nice to see, it really is. We have lots of friends on that team and they are playing well. We will just take it one game at a time."
Despite giving up the lead, Pecsko was strong in goal for Uniontown (0-3, 0-5). She made five saves, including clutch stops at 13:17 and 7:50, to keep her team in the match.
"She (Pecsko) played last year and her freshman year in goal, but she had more playing time her freshman year than her sophomore year at keeper," Dowling said. "Last year, Morgan didn't get as much playing time in goal because we had a senior keeper.
"Our defense did a good job with pressuring the ball. Our offense needed to capitalize on more things. We do have a lot of injured players at the moment, so we are short about six girls.
"Hopefully, the next two go a rounds, we will be able to accomplish a bit more, but only being down one at half, we were looking very much forward to this second half."
The Lady Red Raiders pressured the Fillies at the 24-minute mark but couldn't get any significant shot on goal. Uniontown had two shots on goal in the first half, but both were stopped by Laurel Highlands keeper Brooke Clymer.
Sohyda was pleased with the play of his backline, and hopes it can carry over when section play resumes for the Fillies on Monday at Ringgold (2-1, 2-3).
"We will take a defense performance like this any day of the week," Sohyda said. "I can say they all stood out tonight on defense. Meagan Marinelli, Jill (Verbus), Hannah (Newman) and Skylar (Ferens) all did what they needed to do."
Laurel Highlands' Sydney Chiado had an opportunity on a free kick with 18 minutes left, and she also had shots go wide with 9:06 and six minutes remaining. Jenna Voyten also had several scoring chances. The Fillies had seven scoring chances and one corner kick.
"The girls have been really working well together this year," Sohyda said.
The Lady Red Raiders return to section play on Saturday morning when they host Charleroi (0-2, 0-3) at 10 a.m.
"We are progressing," Dowling said. "Our freshmen are starting to show more colors. Hopefully, with everyone here and healthy, we should be good to go, even against the other teams that we have already played."