Just when the Class B boys’ lacrosse opener between Albany Academy and Scotia-Glenville got interesting, Mother Nature got involved.
A series of lightning strikes in the western sky that preceded a late-evening thunderstorm put a halt to the game with 8:18 to play in the fourth quarter and the Tartans holding a 7-6 lead.
As the referees, coaches and teams were waiting out a mandated 30-minute delay, several more bolts were seen. With no break coming in the weather, the decision was made to resume the game today at 4.
“You don’t want the kids out there all night,” said Albany Academy coach Dave Wimmer. “This was the best choice. It’s a school night. That’s one of the problems with these night games.”
Compounding things was the playoff schedule, which has the winner of this game playing at top-seeded Niskayuna on Thursday.
“It happened to us once before, when we played Burnt Hills,” said Wimmer, noting that his team came out on the short end of the score in that suspended game.
When the game resumes, the Cadets will have possession.
“That’s one good thing about it,” said Wimmer, whose players are also preparing for next week’s final exams.
“We kept looking at the weather, and it is coming right through,” said Scotia coach Bob Gula as he walked the field, retrieving his team’s supply of lacrosse balls. “We have to wait a half-hour every time there is a lightning strike. Then we kept seeing more lightning.
“You don’t want the kids out here all night when they have to go to school the next day. Even if we have to wait until tomorrow, by starting at 4, it gives us more of a window.”
The Tartans had been in the lead since Sam Carmola scored the first of his three goals to put the fourth-seeded hosts ahead, 2-1, in the first quarter.
Cullen Swider made it 3-1 with a goal in the final five seconds of the first, and Scotia kept the two-goal edge, 6-4, at the half. Both teams scored a goal in the third, with Carmola answering a goal from Academy eighth-grader Andrew Martin.
Academy’s Joshua Egan pulled his team to within 7-6 85 seconds before play was stopped.
Scotia began the second half with a man advantage, thanks to an Academy penalty at the halftime whistle.
The Cadets had an extra man to start the fourth, the majority of a penalty that carried over from the third period. They also failed to score with the advantage.
“I thought we played well. We had a lapse and let them back in the game,” said Gula, whose team had taken a 9-4 win when the teams met in the regular season. “The thing that hurts us is after we finish this game, there’s no time to prepare for the next game.”
The 7 p.m. start was an effort to get more of the players’ families and friends to attend.
“We didn’t have a night game all year. We got the higher seed, and we had the choice,” Gula said. “I wanted to play it later so parents and some of the kids who play other sports could come and watch their friends’ game. Our goalie said this was the first time his mother was able to make a game.”
“At a smaller school, you’re going to have a lot of kids playing sports, and when everyone has day games, it’s hard to see the other teams.”