Heart of darkness: Lights go out in Dalton

Tuesday September 25, 2012

DALTON -- As the field went dark Monday night, the players walked off to their respective benches. The fans left their seats and headed for the parking lot.

The game was over, but nothing had been determined -- and not just because of the scoreless tie, either.

Mount Greylock and Wah conah Regional's girls soccer teams will have to play another day, as an electrical malfunction in the WRHS lighting system ended their match with approximately 1 minute, 40 seconds left in the first half.

An electrical box on one of the light poles near the bleachers began to smoke, according to WRHS co-athletic director Gary Campbell Jr., and since all three light banks on that side of the field (closest to the school) are connected, those lights were shut down and not turned back on as a precaution.

Rather than play on a half-lit field, the decision was made to suspend the game. A reschedule date has not yet been determined, nor has it been determined if the game will restart or pick up where it left off.

"I was very frustrated," Wahconah captain Erin Grogan said. "Everything was going our way. To stop that was upsetting."

While the Warriors held an 8-1 edge in shots, neither side had gotten great chances on net. Greylock's back line had been challenged a number of times by the Warrior strikers, but players like Alexa Adams were able to keep most of the pressure off keeper Margot Besnard.

Wahconah, meanwhile, used its size in the midfield to its advantage. Warriors keeper Jamie Downer faced no big tests in the first 20 minutes, and only had to deal with one Mountie corner kick.

If it was up to Greylock coach Tom Ostheimer, the game would restart with 1:40 or less remaining in the first half.

"I think we'll be able to start up again," he said. "We're a pretty resilient team. I thought we played one of our better halves. I thought we played well enough to win."

Temperatures were in the 40s by the time the sun had set, making the game the coldest the Warriors had played so far. That didn't seem to change anyone's approach.

"I like it like this," Grogan said.

Grogan's co-captain, Alex Keator, agreed.

"I can play a lot longer because I sweat a lot less," she said.

The Mounties left Dalton the same way they showed up -- 3-1-1 overall, and the South Division leaders at 3-0-1. By the time he was to the team bus, Ostheimer was already thinking about the Mounties' next challenge against a North Division team.

"We've got to get ready for [Pittsfield] on Thursday, and that's what we'll be thinking about," he said.

To reach Matthew Sprague:
(413) 496-6254.
On Twitter: @EagleSportsZone.


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