BENNINGTON — Everyone who saw the forecast knew trying to get both games in the first round of the 16th annual Lady Patriot tournament on Thursday would be an impressive task.
While the first game went to its completion — a 7-0 win for BBA over Brattleboro — Mother Nature took care of the second game between Mount Anthony and Springfield as a strong thunderstorm forced the postponement until tonight at 7 p.m. at Spinelli Field.
"We were playing the waiting game, it's nearly impossible to keep [the players] focused during a delay," said coach Mark Boudreau. "We brought them down in the locker room, tried to keep them moving and focused. They are a fun bunch and they get along really well. If we had been able to keep going, we would have taken a few minutes to stretch and get at it."
The game started nearly on time, but by 7:05, a lightning bolt to the south sent the teams, fans and officials running for cover as the heavy rains came.
In the next few minutes, the rains subsided a bit and the teams were getting ready to come back on the field and then 31 minutes later, another lightning bolt sent the two teams back under cover for another delay.
A few minutes after that, a third strike ended the thought of playing on Thursday.
"At that point, they still wanted to play but when the last one came in they were like, we're done, let's go," Boudreau said. "We're all on the same page. We talked this afternoon [with the Springfield coaches and said] here's the potential for bad weather. We gave them the opportunity to wait until Friday, but they said we'd just as soon gamble. It's very fluid."
So with the game being moved, the winner will have to play back-to-back days, but Boudreau said it's not that big of a deal.
Depending on the outcome of Friday's game — which will resume with 35:54 left in the first half, scoreless — MAU athletic director Tim Brown said the Cosmos wouldn't have to travel to Bennington three straight days.
"If [MAU] loses, we can play the consolation on Saturday, but if Springfield loses, they have a game against Brattleboro already, they could possibly play it at Springfield," Brown said. "If they want to do that and Brattleboro agrees, that's fine."
In the opening game of the tournament, Burr and Burton scored three goals in the first half before four more in the second in a 7-0 win over the Colonels.
Hannah Pinkus scored the first goal of the night on a beautiful feed from Brooke Woodard to get on the board, then her sister, freshman Grace Pinkus doubled the advantage with a lefty blast in the 18-yard box. Maggie Sullivan scored the third goal of the first half on a cross that ended up over the goal line and into the net.
Emily Bleakie scored twice in the first 20 minutes of the second half to increase the Bulldogs lead to 5-0. The first was a lefty blast past Megan Ayotte and the second was a seamless through ball that Bleakie finished into the back of the net.
Hannah Pinkus added another goal with 14:37 left off a corner kick. The ball flew over most of the defenders to Pinkus, who headed in the chance to make it 6-0.
BBA finished the scoring four minutes later as Esther MacKenzie, another freshman, potted for the 7-0 final.
BBA coach Suzanne Mears said it will be strange at practice today because they don't know who they'll face in the tournament final.
"Usually we know by now and that usually dictates what we do," Mears said. "We have to be prepared to play either side and keep to what we've been working on."