Blame it on the rain: weather ends girls game
PORTLAND - The Sandy girls soccer team may have had enough firepower to defeat the Franklin Quakers on Thursday, Sept. 14, but thanks to Mother Nature, we'll never know.
Schizophrenic weather - complete with lightning, pouring rain, and 'ouch'-inducing hail - forced the referee to pull the plug on a pretty evenly matched game.
The final score read Franklin 2, Sandy 0.
Neither team's coach was too pleased with the game's abrupt ending.
'I'll be honest,' Franklin coach Stan Rodriguez said. 'I was a little discouraged that we had to stop the game.'
Sandy coach Tom Sommer was on the same page as Rodriguez.
'I would have loved to play the game out and see what happens,' he said.
Franklin scored its first goal in the 7th minute, courtesy of junior right midfielder Kailyn Green, who proved that Franklin may be capable of filling the void left by graduated star Patti Degerness.
'Our team came out quick and capitalized on a couple of mistakes,' Rodriguez said.
Green also scored Franklin's second and final goal in the 45th minute of play.
The game had been temporarily suspended due to lightning and ominous-looking clouds that were hovering over nearby Mount Tabor.
Shortly after play resumed, Green hit the game-winning goal.
'What really hurt Sandy was (Sam O'Connor) not playing,' Rodriguez said. 'She's a good little player.'
O'Connor, Sandy's lone senior and undisputed team leader, held herself out of the first half due to a severe cold.
But, according to Sommer, O'Connor was ready to get in the game by the time the second half came around.
'She decided 'You know what? We can score on these guys,' ' Sommer said.
Unfortunately for Sandy, the chance to get O'Connor into the game never occurred.
Shortly after Green's second goal, the rain and hail were coming down with enough force that the referee brought the game to an anti-climactic finish.
The unpleasant weather made the field slippery all afternoon.
And conditions made the game reminiscent of loose and unstructured street ball.
Sandy junior Mallory Wiseman was hit hard on one occasion. She rolled backwards and hit her head, leaving her out of the game for an extended period.
'That ground is not as soft as it looks,' Sommer said.
Sommer believed Sandy did a better job controlling the ball than Franklin and would have been in a position to come back and win had the Pioneers stayed true to their fundamentals.'
'(Franklin) played a lot of kick ball,' he said, indicating that his Sandy players started to mirror some of those same tendencies.
'The ball comes to you and all you do is hit as hard as you can,' he said. 'In soccer, the ball doesn't always have to go that way.'
Still, Sommer remained upbeat despite the outcome. And despite the miserable playing conditions.
'My back is still frozen,' he said a couple of hours after the game.