WCA-Friendship match suspended by lightning

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A key game in the North Carolina Christian School Association 2-A East Region District 3 varsity boys soccer race will now wait almost a week for final resolution.

Just after junior Zach Hunter had brought his Wilson Christian Chargers to within a goal of Raleigh Friendship Christian on Tuesday night, lightning in the area surrounding Airport Road brought both teams off the field with 3 minutes, 6 seconds remaining in the first half. 

Following a delay of approximately 45 minutes, the lightning did not abate. Thus, the game will resume Monday at 6 p.m. from the point of suspension, with the Chargers (9-8, 5-1 region) trailing 2-1. When the teams reconvene, a comeback win from Wilson Christian could allow it to wrap up the district title, with WCA having won 3-0 at Friendship (8-5, 7-2 region) on Sept. 15. WCA visits region foe Fuquay-Varina Hilltop Christian on Friday.

The Chargers started slowly on defense, giving up a pair of goals to Friendship’s Garrett Huskey in the 10th minute and Conner Nelson in the 19th. Both were unmarked shots from around the 18-yard area. 

Lightning first surfaced as a threat in the 10th minute when the head referee stopped play and summoned both head coaches to midfield. Both wished to play on without a delay. However, just 26 seconds after the resumption, Huskey beat WCA sophomore keeper Harrison Parker for the Falcons’ first goal.

As lightning continued its visibility, Hunter took possession around midfield, bounced off Friendship’s Josh Vazquez and split a pair of defenders. His lower-right finish past Bert Rudolph halved the margin and brought the decree from WCA athletic director Brian Trull to clear the field. 

Both teams had eight shots at the time of suspension, with WCA placing five on frame.