Dark clouds hovered over Memorial Stadium on Tuesday in the opening round of the Class AAAA boys soccer Upper State playoffs. Eventually, a heavy downpour of rain fell with approximately 17:49 remaining in the second half. Bolts of lightning struck with Clover ahead of Byrnes 1-0
As a result, the umpire raised his arms to signal the suspension of the matchat Clover High.
Both teams immediately went to their respective locker rooms to wait out the storm. However, several cracks of lightning continued to light up the sky.
Eventually, the game was called and Clover was awarded the victory.
“The ruling is that if a game is more than halfway complete, then the referee has the option to declare the game over,” said Clover athletics director Carol Hester. “Because there was just a little over 17 minutes left to play, we were declared the winner.
“We tried to wait it out, but our field was just unplayable, and that is why the referees decided it was a complete game, because we couldn’t go back out there.”
According to the High School League rules, athletic competition cannot continue until at least 30 minutes after the last bolt of lightning.
Clover coach Khris Dundr sat as his team went into the locker room as the heavy downpour was about to begin.
He sounded optimistic that the game would resume, but the heavy driving rain continued to pour steadily for around an hour.
Clover held a 1-0 lead after a first half goal from Brandon Barardo with the assist coming from Lucas Cautinho.
Both teams continued intense play into the second period. Byrnes missed wide on shots in the box at the 24:24 mark. A short time later, Clover attempted to add an insurance goal, but an open attempt sailed wide left of the net.