Estero and Cypress Lake will have to wait one more day to determine who wins the Class 4A girls soccer regional title.
Alex Sheckler’s penalty kick had given Estero the lead before lightning caused the game to be suspended. Estero will hold a 1-0 advantage with two minutes left in the first half when the game resumes at noon today at Cypress Lake.
If the two teams had completed the first half with Estero leading, the officiating crew would have the right to declare it an official game and hand the title to Estero, Cypress Lake assistant principal Tara Meagher said. Meagher added the officials also still could have suspended the game at that point and forced the two teams to finish at a later date.
The Wildcats still felt disappointed the game was called so close to halftime.
“If they would have done it at halftime, (the title) would have been ours,” Estero’s Brianna Lubkeman said. “And that’s what every girl on this team is dreaming of.”
Meagher said officials had no choice but to stop the game once the lightning appeared.
“We had a visible bolt,” Meagher said. “We’re not talking a light in the far distance. It was a very visible bolt.”
Estero principal George Clover was disappointed about the turn of events, but he understood the decision.
"It's going to break the girls' hearts because they're going to feel they've been cheated," Clover said. "What's fair is fair. I don't make the calls. I just follow the rules of the officials."