COLUMBIA — A Fatima High School soccer player stood on the sideline trying to wring out his shorts without taking them off as he waited to enter the game against Hickman High School on Monday night at Robert M. LeMone Field.
His shorts had been drenched by a rain that poured down for the duration of the first half before the Kewpies' 5-0 win over the Comets (9-11). Fans huddled under umbrellas, and one fan shouted at the rain, "Hell no, we won't go."
Rock Bridge (15-3)
vs. Hickman (7-11)
WHEN: JV starts at 5, varsity to follow
WHERE: Hickman High School
In between the JV and varsity games, spectators went in to the high school for shelter, while the Hickman players did their warm-ups in the rain.
"I felt like it was going to be one of those nasty, cold rains," Kewpies' coach Adam Taylor said. "But they said stuff like 'Yeah, this is awesome.' and I knew they were focused."
The rain led to field conditions that made the ball skip quickly on ground passes but die when hitting the ground.
Taylor said he thought the rain and field conditions gave the Kewpies (7-11) an advantage.
"I think it really benefited our team," he said. "We sometimes have a hard time with our first touch, but the field tonight deadened the ball for us."
The Kewpies, fueled by the rain, scored two early goals and then slowed down their play for the rest of the first half.
After halftime, the rain, which had been tapering off, ended altogether, and Hickman responded with three goals.
"The early goals really helped us slow the game down and just kind of wait for the rain to subside," Taylor said.