Lightning was the only winner in the Cap-8 Conference girls soccer first-place showdown between Millbrook and visiting Leesville Road on Thursday night.
After a 45-minute delay in the game’s 47th minute with the game scoreless, the squads took to the field but neither found the net in an additional seven minutes of play before another light show in the sky forced the referees and coaches to declare the match a 0-0 draw.
The News & Observer’s top-ranked Pride outshot the No. 4 Wildcats by an 11-4 margin (5-1 on frame), but exited with the same 4-0-2 mark in Cap-8 play (10-0-2 overall) as Millbrook (8-1-2).
“Never happy with this kind of result,” Millbrook head coach Matt Edwards said. “You really want it to be the kids figuring out the result.”
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Leesville Road head coach Paul Dinkenor echoed Edwards.
“Obviously we are disappointed,” he said. “We wanted to stay out here. But, in the end, it’s about the safety of the kids. I feel we accomplished what we wanted, we got better tonight.”
Leesville Road had three attempts on goal in a 71-second span after the restart. Sophomore Brooke Sroka took a feed from Jordin Mosley seconds before the final stoppage, but her shot from inside the box hit iron – of the football goalpost.
In a first half dominated for the most part by Leesville Road, it was a Millbrook chance in the waning minutes that nearly could have made it an official game at halftime.
Wildcats’ junior Maya Celetti got the ball on the left sideline, about 30 yards out from goal. The forward cut inside and attempted to thread a pass through three Pride defenders to a streaking open Alexis Strickland.
Leesville defender Rachel Golden, however, snatched the pass and averted a potential disastrous breakaway inside the box.
“Usually, I wouldn’t come out on that,” Golden said. “But I saw the defense was kind of in a bubble, so I went out and got the ball and then played it up to our offense.”
Out of bounds
In what may have been an omen, during pregame a ball was stuck in a tree behind the goal in the west end of the field.
Try as he may, a Leesville Road manager could not get the ball down and finally gave up after repeated attempts before the National Anthem played.
The ball remained.
By the number
9: This was the ninth straight meeting between the teams that ended in either a tie or a one-goal victory. Millbrook has a 4-3-1 advantage over that time, but has not won since sweeping three games in 2013.
Three to know
Bryn Lloyd, Millbrook: Sophomore defender had two key tackles, one in each half, that thwarted potential one-on-ones against the Wildcats’ keeper by Pride forward Jordin Mosley.
Avery Gardner, Leesville Road: Junior was a force in the midfield and the defensive third for the Pride, winning 50-50 balls at an excellent pace.
Hayleigh Pack, Millbrook: Sophomore keeper had four saves in the first half and one in the second to keep the scoreboard clean.