Gardiner goalie Alic Shorey can’t get his hands on a Leavitt corner kick during a 2-2 tie in Turner on Tuesday.
TURNER — A full 80 minutes wasn’t enough to determine a winner in Tuesday’s KVAC Class B boys’ soccer clash between Leavitt and Gardiner, who were tied 2-2 after two halves of regulation play.
But thanks to 20 minutes of thunder, rain, and then lightning, that’s all the time the teams were allotted.
A slow first half gave way to a more competitive second half, including a furious finish, but the Hornets and Tigers had to settle for a draw, denying each their first win of the season.
“We wanted to be able to finish the game,” Gardiner coach Nick Wallace said. “You always want to make sure to see what the final result’s going to be. But we’re on the road, and go away with a result, get us a few points anyways.”
The way the Tigers (0-0-1) played through the first 40 minutes, a tie seemed like a positive result. They rarely sniffed a scoring chance against Leavitt goalie Ben Hutchins, and trailed 1-0 at halftime.
Connor Cyr scored from Seth Ramser midway through the first half to put the Hornets (0-1-1) on top. They nearly made it 2-0 in the waning seconds before the break, but Gardiner goalie Alic Shorey made one of his 12 saves off a Leavitt throw-in deep in Tigers territory.
Gardiner tied the game 3:25 into the second half. A pair of Leavitt defenders missed on a chance to clear the ball out of harm’s way, and Casey Bourque took advantage, putting an uncontested shot past Hutchins.
However, the Hornets answered less than two minutes later. Ramser sent what looked like a pass from far out toward Cam Kokernak, who got out of the way of the ball in the box. The deception fooled Shorey, and Ramser’s pass-turned-shot went untouched into the goal.
“We’re definitely a new team,” Leavitt coach Zac Conlogue said. “Last year when we gave up a goal we kind of would fall apart.”
The Tigers used a long send-in of their own to tie the game up again just past the midway point of the second half. Garrett Lund booted a ball from the right sideline to the left of the goal, and Bourque re-directed it past Hutchins with a well-placed header.
“He’s our goal scorer. He’s our go-to guy. Everyone knows that, I think, in the league now. A second-team all-conference player last year,” Wallace said. “We got to find other guys to step up and score though, too. We can’t depend on him all the time.”
Leavitt tried like heck to take back the lead, but couldn’t convert. A pair of late corner kicks didn’t materialize into a goal, and a Cyr pass to Julian Clement’s head went wide with six minutes to play.
“I was impressed,” Conlogue said. “It was hot, it was very humid, they could have gave up, and they seemed to pick it up a whole ‘nother notch.”
The teams were walking off the field and thinking about a sudden-victory overtime when the thunder started to roll. The rain soon followed, then lightning struck to end any thoughts of completing the game.
“I’m a little bummed. I think we definitely outplayed them the second half,” Conlogue said. “I thought we should have had one in regulation, so it’s a little disappointing to not get it. But Gardiner’s a great team and we’ll take the points. We get them again, so we’re excited to get them again next time.”
The teams are scheduled to play again at Gardiner on Sept. 21.
Leavitt’s Garrett Addison (19) kicks toward the goal while Gardiner’s Garrett Lunt (10) and Charlie Caldwell await the ball’s arrival during a 2-2 tie in Turner on Tuesday.Leavitt’s Connor Cyr (9) and Gardiner’s Ben McKenna both look to kick a loose ball during a 2-2 tie in Turner on Tuesday.Leavitt’s Connor Cyr has a step on Gardiner’s Logan Keene for a loose ball during a 2-2 tie in Turner on Tuesday.
Leavitt’s Josh Peterson (17) and Gardiner’s Ben McKenna battle for possession of the ball during a 2-2 tie in Turner on Tuesday.Leavitt’s Ethan Demerchant, left, and Gardiner’s Charlie Caldwell battle for possession of the ball during a 2-2 tie in Turner on Tuesday.