COLLINSVILLE - Both Edwardsville and O'Fallon had fought through 100 minutes of goalless soccer in a very hard-fought match during the IHSA Class 3A Pekin sectional semifinal match at Kahok Stadium in Collinsville, with the Tigers taking a 2-0 lead in the penalty shootout. Then all of a sudden - lightning invaded the area, followed by a passing thunderstorm, that caused the third round of the shootout to be delayed, and finally suspended with the Tigers ahead 2-0.

The shootout will resume with O'Fallon's second round attempt Wednesday afternoon at 5 p.m, with the winner moving on to the final Friday in Pekin.

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Before the storm interrupted the shootout, both the Panthers and Tigers played excellent soccer all-around, with both teams not giving an inch and able to create excellent chances throughout.

In the opening 20 minutes-plus, both teams had a chance, with Edwardsville goalie Genny Burroughs, and O'Fallon keeper Kendall Joggerst making great saves, Burroughs having to get both of her hands on a sizzlers of a shot in the first half to keep the game scoreless.

It stayed that way during the second half, as both sides continued to press the issue for the breakthrough strike. The Tigers had one early in the second half when a shot deflected off an O'Fallon foot for a corner, but the cross was cleared away. As the match reached the hour mark, Edwardsville seemed to start having the better of the play, but could not convert into a goal.

Near the end of regulation, the Panthers had a series of corner kicks, but the Edwardsville defense stayed stout, preserving the 0-0 stalemate and forcing 20 minutes of extra time.

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In the first half of extra time, after 82 minutes, a chance for O'Fallon hit off the top of the bar, and was eventually cleared out. Late in the half, the Tigers ha a close call, but Joggerst and her defense stood tall to preserve the goalless tie after the first 10 minutes of extra time.

At the start of the second half of extra time, O'Fallon hit another crossbar, and Burroughs was able to recover to keep the game scoreless. In the dying minutes, both teams had a close call, but the ball stayed out to keep the score 0-0 after extra time, forcing the shootout.

As the shootout started, both Ellie Neath and Kylie Peel scored for Edwardsville, while Burroughs went to her right to make a save on the first Panther shot, then had made another big save on the second shooter, but the officials eventually ruled the emergency sirens used to clear the pitch and stadium because o the lightning delay went off first, nullifying Burroughs' save before the shootout was suspended.

The Tigers and Panthers will pick up the shootout with a retake of the Panthers' second shot with Edwardsville ahead 2-0 Wednesday at 5 p.m. The winner moves on to the final at Coal Miner's Park in Pekin, and will play Minooka, who defeated Normal Community 4-1 in the other semifinal, on Friday at 5:30 p.m.

The Pekin winner plays the Joliet Central winner - either Tinley Park Andrew, Homewood-Flossmoor, Frankfort Lincoln-Way East, or New Lenox Lincoln-Way Central -- in the Bloomington super-sectional May 28 at 6 p.m.

Dan Brannan also contributed to this story.

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