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Girls Soccer: Mother McAuley scores weather-shortened win over Sandburg

Mother Nature ruled — and Mother McAuley’s Cinderella ride moves on.

The No. 14 seed Mighty Macs got a first-half goal from Emily Rappold, and it stood up.

The second half never started after a two-hour lightning delay, and Mother McAuley was awarded the 1-0 win over No. 2 seed Sandburg at the Class 3A Andrew Sectional.

By rule, a game cannot be restarted after 10 p.m. When a flash of lightning hit at 9:31 the game was called. The IHSA will make a final ruling, but the terms and conditions stipulate the game counts — even with just one half played.

“Nobody likes to end it this way,” McAuley coach Tom Christopher said, “but this is the kind of game we’ve played lately. We’ve been playing well.”

McAuley (7-9-3), which returned just one starter off last year’s team, was 2-8-2 on May 3.

Since then the Mighty Macs are 5-1-1. McAuley stunned Andrew and avenged an earlier loss against Marist in regionals.

Tuesday’s win over a Sandburg team that defeated McAuley 4-0 in the season opener has the program in its first sectional final since 2005.

“We made some changes, but the girls are having fun,” Christopher said. “We’ll see what happens Friday.”

Sandburg (12-8-1) had numerous chances to score early before Rappold perhaps caught her opponent napping.

Taking a through ball from Jessie Peyronet, Rappold pushed a shot from an awkward angle left of the goal.

The Sandburg goalkeeper had come out to defend Rappold, and the ball got through the goal just before an Eagles defender stopped her with 15:19 left in the half.

“Jessie just led it out there for me,” Rappold said. “It was a perfect pass and a crazy angle.”

Sandburg’s Sarah DeWolf had a golden opportunity to score right before half, but a shot on a breakaway sailed high.

The rule to call the game — instead of resuming it Wednesday — didn’t sit well with Sandburg coach Desi Vuillaume.

“It’s not a wise decision by the IHSA,” Vuillaume said. “I’ve heard this happen to other teams. It’s a horrible way to end the careers of several seniors.”

Vuillaume wondered why the game even made it to half. It rained throughout the first half and lighting appeared to be visible from the stadium.

“There was lightning the last 20 minutes of the half,” he said. “I don’t know why they didn’t stop it then.”

Rappold for her part hated winning in the manner McAuley did.

“It’s actually really sad,” Rappold said. “There’s nothing we can do about it but I wish that wasn’t the rule. It’s not fair. We only played one half.”



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