Owensboro High School had to deal with some tension before it could land in the Boys' 3rd Region Soccer Tournament championship game.
Daviess County was left taking a total wait-and-see approach to its regional semifinal against Muhlenberg County.
The Red Devils survived Ohio County 1-0 on Tuesday night at Owensboro Catholic's Independence Field.
DC and Muhlenberg County got 30 minutes in to their regional semifinal before lightning moved into the area, and later rain, to cause the game to be suspended with the Panthers ahead 2-0.
DC and Muhlenberg County will resume at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. The boys' regional championship game is still set for Thursday at 7 p.m.
OWENSBORO 1 OHIO COUNTY 0
Andrew Saltsman had a free kick from 25 yards in the 17th minute. His shot defelected off the Ohio County keeper, and Josh Head was right there to tap the ball in for a 1-0 OHS.
The Red Devils had to work over the rest of the game to make that score hold up.
Ohio County stayed back defensively the entire game, cramming the 18-yard box full of players that OHS couldn't navigate through.
"That's something they did to us in the first game, we were able to work around it," OHS coach Ryan Haley said. "This time they were much more aggressive."
Saltsman, a senior, was happy OHS was able to get a goal early.
"We were a little annoyed, I'm not going to lie," Saltsman said. "I'm glad we put that one in early, otherwise it probably would've been down to the wire."
Attacking a packed in defense isn't simple.
"You want to stretch them out wide," Haley said of his team on offense. "Everytime we went out wide they brought two guys, and even a third, it was really difficult to work around the corners. We didn't look outside enough, we weren't patient enough.
"In the end we put shots on goal, one of our scrappy players, Grayson McFarland, he really gets in between places, slides through, we were looking for him to get on a second pass, get a shot that bounces off a keeper's hands, we weren't getting the shots. You've got to give (Ohio) credit. Every single player they had was behind the ball most of the time, they weren't looking to play to a striker."
Klemmer Nicodemus stood in against some pressure at keeper for Ohio County, collecting 10 saves.
"Klemmer has been easily the best keeper in the region," Ohio County coach Alex Tungate said. "He gets more shot volume than most keepers do, he's a special player.
"Coach Haley has a ton of offensive weapons. We came in and knew we were going to have to play a special brand of defense, we did that."
OHS will now get a rest day to prepare for its regional championship game against either Daviess County or Muhlenberg County.
"Now we get a day off, a day of rest, a day to mentally get our thoughts together," Haley said after OHS put 17 shots on frame. "It wasn't pretty, but the important thing is our defense held strong, we held them to two shots, defensively I'm very pleased."
OHS is 17-5-2. Ohio County finished 14-7-2.
DAVIESS COUNTY 2 MUHLENBERG COUNTY 0, Suspended
Lightning started moving in the area soon after the second semifinal got rolling.
Hunter Clark missed a penalty kick in the eighth minute, but he made up for that with a shot and score from the left side, about 15 yards away, for a 1-0 Panthers lead.
Clark had the serve on a corner kick in the 24th minute that Jacob Boling was able to connect on and get in the back of the net.
About six minutes later, referees and school officials were meeting with coaches to decide whether to continue with lightning getting closer to the field.
"They have to do it, there's lightning in the area," DC coach Doug Sandifer said. "They're making the right call. It's frustrating when it hasn't rained a drop, but we've all gone through it."
DC and Muhlenberg County both know they'll get no break between the semifinals and the finals with this scheduling set up. OHS played on consecutive days (Monday-Tuesday) because of its draw.
"We get no day off before the regional final, no preparation, but we've only got 50 minutes to play and we're up 2-0," Sandifer said. "We've got to come back and clean up some things."