Westfield Coach Starr Karl and South County Coach Leah Conte have made many successful calls during their Virginia AAA Northern Region tenures, including last season when their teams met in the region final.
Both coaches, however, were kicking themselves Thursday night for the call that neither suggested in No. 3 Westfield’s 1-0 lightning-shortened non-district victory at South County.
Distant lightning was pervasive in the first half, but the teams played through. But during halftime, officials delayed the game when the lightning got closer. After about an hour, the game was called and became an official result. Had the game been delayed before the end of the first half, the teams could have completed it at a later date.
Westfield and South County play only 16 or 17 regular-season games, many of them against inferior competition, so they were looking forward to their second meeting of the season.
“We both really wanted to play, and this was a highly skilled game,” Karl said in a South County hallway after she, Conte and school and game officials had walked outside to gauge the weather one last time.
“It’s a bummer because it was a very high-speed, well-skilled game and you love to play high school games at that level,” said Conte, whose team honored four players with senior night festivities before the game.
Westfield junior midfielder Katelyn Rennyson scored the game’s lone goal, less than 5 minutes into the first half, when she drilled a swift shot from the top of the circle.
“I wouldn’t get in her way,” Karl said. “She’s got a wicked hit.”
Rennyson has 10 goals for the Bulldogs (11-2), whose losses have been to defending state champion First Colonial and Tabb. Sophomore forward Emily McNamara has 15 goals, senior All-Met Meghan Winesett has 12 and junior forward Katie Winesett has 10.
“We wanted this to be like a little stepping stone,” said Karl, whose team knocked off previously unbeaten Fairfax, 3-0, on Monday.
Westfield notched a 3-0 win over South County (8-5) early in the season.