Girls soccer: Lightning delay forces 0-0 draw in 57th minute between Geneva and St. Charles East

Geneva girls soccer's Jordan Forbes

GENEVA – Senior Night for Geneva didn’t end the way the Vikings had hoped.

A lightning delay with 22:58 left in the second half forced the game to be called early and the Vikings and St. Charles East ended in a 0-0 draw May 1.

The game first was delayed after the lightning detector sounded with 25:50 remaining. The players returned to the field to resume play 55 minutes later, only for the detector to sound again almost three minutes later.

Despite not reaching the 80-minute mark, Vikings coach Megan Owens felt her squad played a complete game.

“I think we’re getting to the level that we’ve known they’re capable of all season,” Owens said. “We’re seeing us raise the bar each and every game and proving that we can compete with anybody.”

Before the game, Geneva honored 10 seniors who were all in the starting lineup.

“I have an amazing senior class,” Owens said. “They’re all selfless and put the team before themselves. And I don’t think they’re ready for their season to end by any means, so it makes me very excited for the postseason.”

One of those seniors was goalie Jordan Forbes, who ended the night with a shutout and four saves, including a leaping save in the 51st minute to keep a corner kick from Sophia Wollenberg out of the net.

“It was hard to get to the ball because I was just getting sandwiched in,” Forbes said. “But a lot of my defense was helping me by marking them and trying to push them out of the way so I could get to the ball.”

Forbes said that because she’s played with those defenders for all four years, it’s given her a lot of confidence that the backline will help her keep the ball out of the net.

“I just have a lot of confidence in them,” Forbes said. “I know that if I ever make a mistake or they make one, we can help right each other’s wrongs.”

The Vikings (9-5-2, 2-1-1 DuKane Conference) started the game by going after the Saints’ defense, constantly pushing the ball deep into East territory and challenging goalkeeper Sidney Lazenby to make plays in the net.

Geneva almost got on the scoreboard in the 24th minute on a scorcher from Evyn Schokora, but Lazenby made a diving save to knock the ball into the crossbar. With the ball still in play, Lazenby quickly recovered and punched the ball out of the box and away from Olivia Rowls, who was charging in to try to get the rebound.

“She’s been a rock back there,” St. Charles East coach Vince DiNuzzo said. “She’s gaining confidence at the right time and hopefully we can get on a roll. We haven’t conceded a lot of goals this year and part of that is due to her.”

The Saints (13-3-5, 2-1-2) seemed to find their groove in the second half. Wollenberg almost found the net on a corner kick and Averie Foulkes almost tapped one in minutes later.

DiNuzzo said part of the adjustment the team had to make was absorbing Geneva’s pressure. The other was to make changes tactically.

“We had to switch what we were doing upfront in terms of our roles and defensive assignments to try and create more numbers and get more scoring opportunities,” DiNuzzo said. “The kids executed like they needed to. We just weren’t lucky enough to score.”