BELLEVILLE — Belleville West and Belleville East played one half of soccer Tuesday night, which qualified as an official game when lightning put an end to the proceedings.
But the teams will reconvene at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at East and pick up where they left off, sort of.
The Southwestern Conference game was tied 1-1 when it was stopped nine seconds into the second half. After about a 30-minute delay, the match was suspended. The teams will get back those nine seconds Thursday and play a full 40-minute second half.
"If they, or us, had to travel very far, it probably would just be a (finished) game," East coach Mark Lasley said. "But since we're city rivals, you hate to end a game like that.
"We don't have anything scheduled (Thursday); they don't have anything scheduled. It worked out nice. We'll be focused and ready for the second half."
West coach Rob Thornberry agreed with the decision.
"You've got the tradition of the city championship (series)," Thornberry said. "Obviously, it's a conference match, and it's a big rivalry. ... We'll get ready (Wednesday) and come back Thursday. We definitely want to play to win, and we've got 40 minutes to do it."
Senior Todd Seibert scored from senior Ian Mayr to put the Maroons ahead 1-0 at 8:09. The ball was close to the end line, outside the left post, when Seibert got to it and scored from a sharp angle.
East's players, believing the ball was going to be whistled out of bounds, appeared to stop playing when Seibert tallied his sixth goal of the season.
"That was a great goal for Seibert," Thornberry said. "There was a lot of skill and flair in that goal. He beat two guys one-v-one and the keeper (senior Cody Mathews) on the end line. That was an awesome goal."
Lasley said it might have been a lesson learned for his players: Assume nothing.
"The whole defense stopped," Lasley said. "They said the ball was out of bounds. But you can't stop. The referee has that whole line (to watch), plus the goal, plus the goalie, plus a lot of feet. If he can't see it, we've got to play. ... You can't just stop."
The Lancers countered on senior Aaron Peters' goal into an empty net at 28:30. West's defense lost its shape on the play and junior goalie Nate Petrekovich came far off his line.
"It was nice," Lasley said of the equalizer. "We did a good job of just being calm and putting it in. It was an East-West weird thing. Nobody could stop it. He put it right into the middle. It was a good shot."
Contact reporter David Wilhelm at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2665.