While the Owls went toe-to-toe with Sacramento State, the Owls had another foe to deal with Sunday in the afternoon’s elements.
Following the completion of the first half at Ambler, the officials called for a 30-minute delay due to lightning in the area. At the time, the Owls were holding on to a 2-0 lead against the Hornets.
The Owls walked off the field to the team bus, where coach David MacWilliams made sure the team stayed focused on the game.
“The adrenaline really drops down (during the delay), so you really have to get them mentally ready to play,” MacWilliams said.
The delay came at a critical time in the game, when the Owls were tasked with defending their two-goal lead for another 45 minutes.
“A lot of the guys want the field wet so we can keep it moving, but I think the biggest obstacle was keeping mentally focused because you’re up two-nothing, and that’s the hardest lead to keep in soccer,” assistant coach Evan Prybutok said.
Fortunately for the Owls, the delay was not severe, and they were able to stay loose with a short five-minute session of stretches.
The main concern for the Owls during the rain delay was not just the wait time, but the possible change in playing conditions. Freshman forward Olli Tynkkynen said his main concern was the slippery feel of the ball after coming in contact with the pitch.
As the game progressed, it was clear that the Owls were able to overcome the weather to maintain their lead.
“In the first half when it started raining, I thought the technicality of our team really showed,” freshman midfielder Brendon Creed said. “We were able to play the ball quick and efficiently. Even in the second half, we started out slow, but we were able to continue that.”
“I think both coaches had a tough job today, it looked like a slow game the first 15 minutes of the second half,” MacWilliams said.
This victory marks the Owls’ first season win of 2014…Sacramento State was missing five players from its bench today, leaving them with a noticeably smaller roster than the Owls…Sunday marked Owls senior goalkeeper Dan Scheck’s first shutout of the season.