FARMINGDALE — The final 30 minutes were played in a shroud of muddy darkness. The final hour was played in a driving rainstorm. All 80 minutes were played with the final result never really in doubt.

For two traditional Mountain Valley Conference rivals, Friday’s contest stood as a prime example of exactly why there has been a season to begin with.

“There’s a joke around here when people say, ‘It’s a good day for soccer’ when the weather is bad,” Hall-Dale girls soccer coach Guy Cousins said. “But I think every day is a good day for soccer. I think a day like this represents the Maine work ethic. You’ve got a lot of adversity with the weather and field conditions, but you just step up and play.

“The fact that this was nearly not a season, and appreciate every minute that we’re out here as a gift. There are sports that aren’t even playing. There’s a huge amount of gratitude in this group that we were even able to get these games in.”

Hall-Dale rolled to a 6-0 victory over Madison on a soggy Simmons Field on Friday afternoon. Freshman Hayden Madore scored two goals, while Rita Benoit, Sarah Benner and Karlie Reith each had a goal and an assist. Madison goalkeeper Savannah Curtis made 12 saves.

Not that the statistics, nor the final score, were what anybody was going to remember.

For Madison midfielder and captain Taylor Tillinghast, even in the face of a bitter defeat, she was smiling widely, the whites of her teeth in stark contrast to the muddy splattered across her face like war paint or eye black run amok.

“This was really important,” Tillinghast said. “I got mud all over my face, we got right into it. It felt like playing in mud when we were little kids. I’ve never played in rain that was like this — definitely we’ve played in some rain, but not like this.

“Even though it’s not a ‘real’ season, it’s still about getting to come out here and play together and try and improve on our skills and everything else for next year.”

Hall-Dale took greater satisfaction in playing the rain.

Madison’s Landyn Landry, left, and Hall-Dale’s KJ Greenhalgh go for a ball during a rainy game Friday in Farmingdale. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

This was the Bulldogs’ penultimate home game of this oddest of odd seasons. Their final contest at Simmons comes next week, when they host Carrabec. But the Cobras only have enough players to field a team for an 8-versus-8 game, meaning Friday’s contest was the last traditional 11-versus-11 on home soil for the seniors in black and white.

“This game had a lot of sentimental meaning to us seniors,” the senior midfielder Benner said. “We’ve played in wet games — but nothing like this that was a downpour the whole time, so this one was pretty high up on the list.

“It can be frustrating because it’s hard to get a good touch on the ball and there’s a lot of mistakes you make that you wouldn’t normally, but you try to remember that it’s fun. You’re out there sliding around and having fun with that.”

Given the severity of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a little cold, rain, mud and wind wasn’t going to be enough to sap the life out of the chance to play a high school soccer game.

“It’s all about the joy of the game and playing it regardless of the conditions, because you’re playing for the love of the game,” Cousins said. “We play because we have the joy for the game. If we’re not having fun, then why are you even playing?”

“It was a mindset for us,” Benner said. “It was just going out and having fun. We knew the weather conditions were going to be like this. But it was about going out and enjoying our moments with the team and moments playing the sport.

“We’ve learned to be so thankful this year.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.