Rhinelander High School boys’ soccer coach Nathan Bates holds up his cellphone, displaying the radar, to center referee Rob Weise during a weather delay in a Great Northern Conference boys’ soccer match between Rhinelander and Mosinee at Mike Webster Stadium Thursday, Sept. 12. The game was declared a 1-1 draw at halftime with lightning preventing the teams from resuming the match. (Jeremy Mayo/River News)
9/14/2019 7:31:00 AM Hodags, Mosinee play to weather-shortened draw
Rhinelander and Mosinee did everything they could to get in their scheduled Great Northern Conference soccer match as scheduled on Thursday. Mother Nature did everything it could to prevent it from happening.
The end result was a 1-1 tie between the Hodags and the Indians at Mike Webster Stadium that was declared official when thunderstorms rolled into the area at halftime and did not abate until well after the game halted for the evening.
"Unfortunately, you can't fight the weather. It is what it is," Hodag coach Nathan Bates said. "The boys looked good tonight. They were passing the ball well, doing a lot of give-and-goes. Communication was pretty on point tonight. Unfortunately we didn't get to finish. I wish we would have because we had some momentum going at half."
Thunderstorms slightly delayed the start of the first half, but the teams were able to finish the first 45 minutes of the match. At 8:07 p.m., while the teams were taking their halftime break, a flash of lightning was spotted, triggering an automatic 30-minute delay. At 8:34, just as the players were beginning a three-minute warmup prior to the start of the second half, another bolt flashed from the sky, forcing the teams back to shelter. As more threatening weather marched in from the southwest, a decision was reached by the coaches and center referee Rob Weise to declare the game official. The situation is coverered in Rule 15-G of the WIAA's soccer regulations which states, "In the event a game must be suspended because conditions make it impossible to continue ... If at least one half of the game has been completed, the game is an official game."
"According to the rules, we found out we are not able to replay from the half," Bates said. "We wanted to play. Both me and (Mosinee head) coach (Joe Carlson) wanted to finish playing the game, but the radar right now, it's all red, yellow and orange until about 11:15 tonight."
The game was originally supposed to be played in Mosinee, but heavy rains drenched central Wisconsin Wednesday and the decision was made to move the game to Rhinelander's new artificial turf surface because of poor field conditions at Mosinee's Edgewood Park.
"We wanted to have the game, that's why we offered to host it here," Bates said. "The kids were ready to play tonight. I know Mosinee got a couple of inches of rain (Wednesday). I talked to (RHS Activities Director) Brian (Paulson), he talked to their AD and everyone was in agreement. They wanted to play."
As for the game itself, Mosinee struck quickly. Senior Durate Pedro launched a shot from 25 yards in the second minute of the match that beat Rhinelander keeper Gavin Ostermann to the top right corner of the goal.
"We came out, beginning of the game, I don't think the boys were expecting that ball to come out from the 26 and get rocketed like it did," Bates said. "It caught everyone off guard."
The Hodags leveled the match in the 27th minute as Hugh Wiese received a through ball from Braden Mork, and fired a shot from outside the 18-yard box.
"Hugh, we've been harping on him to shoot from the outside and he did it tonight," Bates said. "He carried the ball in, made a nice cut and took a shoot. The goalie bobbled the ball and it went right by him. It was a good shot."
Bates said play balanced out following Mosinee's opening tally. Rhinelander outshot Mosinee 12-8 in the match. Ostermann made six saves in the draw for the Hodags.
"After that, the boys looked good. They actually controlled the majority of the game," Bates said. "They definitely has some opportunities in front of our net but, all and all, we had a lot more ball possession than they did. Mosinee seemed to be trying to force the ball through to No. 4 (Pedro). They were dumping the ball up, trying to run and we shut them down quite a bit."
Rhinelander (1-5-1, 1-1-1 Great Northern) will travel to face Shawano in a non-conference match on Monday before returning home to take on Antigo Tuesday.
"Never played Shawano," Bates said. "We're going to go there and do what we normally do and play our game and continue on Tuesday against Antigo."
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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