For the first 45 minutes of the game, Feildians Greensleeves players must have felt the soccer gods were for them.
But then came the second half. And the weather. And the feeling that those same gods might have turned on the Double Blues, quite literally like a bolt out of the sky.
Defending champion Holy Cross Avalon Ford entered Monday’s night’s Breen’s Jubilee Trophy matchup with Feildians at King George V Park in St. John’s having won all 11 of their games this season. What’s more, the Crusaders had done so without having allowed a single goal.
But 22 minutes into Monday’s game, the Feildians’ Stacey Hanlon — who leads the league in scoring — ended Holy Cross’s shutout streak when she tallied on a counter attack.
The Double Blues maintained the lead through the remainder of the first half and for the first five minutes of the second half before the game was suspended because of lightning in the area.
After the lightning’s initial appearance, the teams had been sent to the KGV dressing room area for a lengthy wait. They eventually returned to the pitch, but the lightning crackled again, and the game was suspended.
The result is not wiped out. The teams will have to play the remaining 40 minutes at some future date, so Hanlon’s streak-shattering marker — her 14th goal of the campaign — will stand, no matter the final result. It just remains to be seen if that result will mean another streak — in this case, Holy Cross’s winning streak — will also end.
If that is what happens, Feildians (9-3-1) will move to within two points of the league leaders., although Holy Cross has two games in hand.
Beside the completion of Monday’s game, the two teams have one more head-to-head encounter on the schedule, on Aug. 8 in the final regular-season game for both sides.
There was a little bit more in-season history made during Monday night’s other Jubilee Trophy contest, one that went the full distance.
In that game, played at the Gushue Complex, homestanding Mount Pearl earned its first point of the season in a 2-2 tie against the C.B.S. Calvin Randell Strikers. Prior to Monday, Mount Pearl had lost all of its 11 games.
Even the two goals that Mount Pearl scored — from Jordan Osmond and Jillian Lahey — were notable, since the young team had registered only one other goal (by Jody March-MacCouish) this season.
Victoria Whelan had both goals for the Strikers (3-9-1) in the game, which like the one at KGV, was played mainly in heavy thundershowers.
That game in Mount Pearl was also a bit of an anomaly — at least in 2019 — in that both teams scored in the match.
Of the 27 completed games in the league this season, 22 have ended in shutouts. Holy Cross has supplied half of those, while all nine of the wins by Feildians (9-3-1) have been in a whitewash. The Strikers and St. John’s Under-17s each have one shutout apiece.
Interestingly, despite all those shutouts, there have been no scoreless draws in the league. In fact, there have been just two ties so far this season.
Sydney Walsh of Feildians, who had a number of key stops in Monday’s abbreviated match, and Jaime Crocker of Holy Cross have been responsible for most of the cleans sheets for their teams, but there have been other contributions. Hannah Noseworthy has seen considerable time guarding the Crusaders’ net and Julie Crocker, Jaime’s twin sister and normally a Holy Cross forward, even played a game in goal, recording one of those many shutouts.
Anna Edwards did likewise for Feildians in a weekend game, posting a shutout in the Double Blues’ 1-0 victory over Mount Pearl. Edward’s probably has the goalkeeping genetics — she’s the daughter of former Challenge Cup all-star keeper Scott Edwards — but is normally a defender for Feildians.
Even Hanlon, she of the offensive skills, has seen a bit of time in goal for the Double Blues, taking over for Walsh in-game when the latter was injured.
“And she was pretty good there, too,” reports Holy Cross coach Jake Stanford.