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Geneva has strong start before weather halts play Tuesday

Lardas, Williams power Vikings to lead

GENEVA – With the clock winding down in the first half of Tuesday night’s IHSA Class 3A regional semifinal between host Geneva and Elk Grove, the evening was going to plan for the Vikings.

Geneva, seeded third in the Conant Sectional, led, 3-0, and almost all the action had taken place on Elk Grove’s side of the pitch.

With 6:06 left until halftime, a foe that has bedeviled high school outdoor sports teams most of the spring took over – the weather. Officials spotted lightning and stopped play.

The teams would have to wait 30 minutes before resuming action, but an hour later, with the lightning continuing, officials decided to suspend play until 4:30 this afternoon.

"We had hoped to get a half in but unfortunately Mother Nature didn’t cooperate,” Geneva coach Megan Owens said. “We have to come back [today], ready to play and play with the same intensity. Sometimes that's a challenge.”

The Vikings' offense needed 15 minutes to produce the match's first goal.

Michaela Loebel worked the ball up the sideline to the right side of the goal and passed it through Elk Grove defenders to Courtney Lardas, who was in front of the net. The senior booted the ball past Elk Grove goalkeeper Melissa Solorio for the score at the 25:21 mark.

Four minutes later, Taylor Williams scored Geneva’s second goal, also a shot in front of the net.

Williams added Geneva’s third goal and her second goal of the night with 6:50 left in the first half on a penalty kick. Her shot went to the left of Solorio for the score.

If nothing else, Owens hoped the Vikings were able to chip away at some of their postseason jitters by playing a chunk of the match.

“We started off strong,” Owens said. “Now we just have to maintain it.”

Elk Grove is seeded 14th in the sectional.

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