Rain has soaked the area fields and teams, and given us a start to the fall season rarely seen in this area of the country.
The entire run has been one big adjustment as schedules are shifted, weeks are overloaded, and field crews are putting in extra time to get games in on time. It’s been that type of month.
For tennis, it’s simply been difficult to get matches in, as the slightest bit of rain will force a postponement. For soccer, it’s up to the teams, and some have enjoyed the conditions, and some haven’t. Football will always be played unless there is some type of lightning storm. Golf and cross-country are also at the mercy of the weather.
The adjustments really begin with the type of surface teams play on. This can be especially important for teams making the transition from grass to turf or the other way around.
The adjustment of going from a turf field to a grass one is always difficult in soccer. The ball doesn’t play as fast, and teams often times need a short adjustment to the slower play. Add in the fact it has been raining most of the month, and the fields play even slower.
Yes, the transition from turf to grass can be a difficult one, but so can the move from grass to turf. Warrior Run plays on a grass field in which the surface is often times left long. They are built to play on a slower field where they can use their size and speed to an advantage. Once they move to a turf field, their style doesn’t exactly translate.
Warrior Run is good enough to make adjustments, but it’s still something it is forced to deal with. Add in the fact that most of the trips to turf fields this year feature rain, and it makes the journey that much more difficult.
“I coach the kids to expect whatever conditions the field is going to be like and adjust to it,” Warrior Run coach Rob Ryder said. “I told these girls to be ready for any conditions.”
Warrior Run recently took on Lewisburg, which plays on a turf field. The conditions were less than ideal as a wave of rain and wind highlighted the first half of play. It made connecting passes difficult. It made communicating difficult.
In a perfect display of how the conditions affect both teams, there was a ball kicked down the sideline during the first half. It appeared the ball was going to curl over the outline and give one of the teams a throw in. Both sets of players let the ball roll and roll, but it never went out. Eventually it was tracked down and kicked out for a throw-in, but initially, both teams misplayed it.
To start the second half, Warrior Run was forced to dump quick dry on certain wet spots that had collected on the field.
“As soon as we started the rain and wind were against us,” Lewisburg coach Jose Vega said. “It was a tough day, and they adjusted to the conditions better than we did.”
Another group of teams feeling the effects of the rain were Hughesville and Loyalsock when the two teams got together for a night match on the Spartans’ home field. Again, the conditions were less than ideal, but the game went on.
Loyalsock, who plays on a turf field, adjusted and scored a goal in the first half. The offense entered with 12 goals over its last two games but was only held to one throughout the sloppy contest with Hughesville.
“We play on the turf, and we’re used to a quick game,” Loyalsock coach Ian Scheller said. “When you get on grass it’s never easy. You come out where it’s raining just enough to make the ball skip you have to prepare for it. You have to tell your defenders you have to expect a bounce and you have to tell your attackers you have to expect a misstep.”
Loyalsock edged Hughesville 1-0 as both teams played through sloppy conditions. Hughesville played well in the game and seemed to benefit from playing on grass. Ideally, both teams play under the bright sun with the only difference being turf or grass.
“We feel like we have an advantage on grass,” Hughesville coach James Dennis said. “Despite all the rain the field is still in great shape, and we love it. We play better on grass. It can slow teams down a bit.”