COLUMBUS, Ohio – A band of severe weather rolling through Columbus has prompted officials to cancel the soccer match between Ohio State and Ohio University at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.The 1-0-1 Buckeyes and the 0-2-0 Bobcats were 16 minutes 58 seconds into the match when the game was halted. Here’s how we got to that point:
45:00 – Kickoff between Ohio State and the all-green with white accents Ohio team. The Buckeyes are in white jerseys with red numerals trimmed in black, red shorts and red stockings. There is a festive look to the field. Almost as if it’s the candy canes vs. the Christmas trees.
44:59: Ohio State coach Lori Walker has started the same lineup as the first two games – Scoliere, Jenkins, Cameron, Martin, Beachy, Dickerson, Bowyer, Granberg, Brady and Steuer – but with one major exception: sophomore Katie Baumgardner is the starting goalkeeper, in place of Lauren “Taz” Robertson, who is nursing a sore wrist. Taz is a tough competitor so it might be best to say she is out with a wrist injury. Taz doesn’t nurse anything.
28:02: Lightning has been seen north of the “Jesse” (at 7:48 p.m.) and the officials have stopped play. Due to the potential severe weather, the fans have been asked to leave the metal stands in the stadium and relocate in the parking lots. Play will be delayed for at least 30 minutes and it will continue to be delayed for each subsequent strike of lightning.
8:03 p.m.: Until the game resumes, we’ll use real clock time. It’s dark directly north of the stadium and west of the stadium. Very dark. No rain yet, but it is coming. One can feel it.
8:26 p.m.: About 15 minutes ago an eerie line of thick clouds blanketed the stadium. A hard rain has started to fall and the sky continues to light up to the north and east of the stadium. So we wait. The lights are on but the stadium is empty, except for a dozen or so administrators in the press box and the teams sitting in their respective locker rooms.
8:35 p.m.: A legitimate lightning strike just south of the stadium. No official word yet, but we’re guessing that the lightning strike clock was just reset for another 30 minutes. It is continuing to rain hard. Real hard.
8:48 p.m.: Officials are looking for a deck of cards. We continue to wait out the weather. Folks in the press box are hungry…especially after reading the men’s basketball blog from Canada. It is full of food references. The attendance has just been announced: prior to the severe weather suspension of play there were 548 people in the stands. Not a bad gate for this night. Fans like free admission.
8:56 p.m.: Unfortunately because of inclement weather, the live stream of the game on Buckeye Vision had to be discontinued for the rest of the evening. Buckeye Vision will stream the game Sunday vs. Pittsburgh at 1 p.m. We apologize for the inconvenience.
9:17 p.m.: More bad news. The concession stand has closed temporarily and the official photographer from Ohio just walked into the press box with chicken. Fried chicken. One helping of what smells like delicious fried chicken. Now everyone in the pressbox is not only hungry, but they are getting cranky, too.
10:00 p.m.: The match is officially cancelled. At this point there are no plans to make up the game. The Buckeyes will host Pitt Sunday at 1 p.m. It will be family day at the “Jesse.” Admmission is free. Fans attending the game are asked to park in the Buckeye lots just northwest of the stadium.