CROWN POINT | It's almost fitting that the biggest soccer match of the year in Northwest Indiana gets an extra day of buildup.
Times No. 1 Crown Point and No. 2 Valparaiso will meet this evening in a battle of the top Duneland Athletic Conference teams after lightning and rain caused the match to be postponed Wednesday night.
As players from the respective teams waited away from the field, coaches and administrators discussed the best course of action. The resolution is that the teams will play at Crown Point at 6:30 p.m.
Now both coaches will do their best to calm their players down after they spent more than an hour waiting to take the field.
"It's difficult because you're dealing with teenagers and they like to get really excited about games," Crown Point coach Mike Bazin said. "Especially when they see numbers attached. We've got one and two and statewide we're five and six. Regardless, this is a premiere high school soccer match and the crowds will be into it. As a coach, we just have to keep them down."
Discussion as to when to play the game lasted for more than a half hour Wednesday night and part of the deliberation revolved around Valparaiso coach Danny Jeftich's availability for the match. Jeftich has a faculty meeting in Indianapolis this afternoon that he is unable to reschedule.
"I don't know if I'll be back in time or not to coach my team" Jeftich said. "The guys need to understand that they still need to focus. I don't think anyone has an advantage here."
Both teams have been looking forward to this contest since the schedule was released and both coaches remarked that playing the game as quickly as possible was the right thing to do.
"We've been on a gauntlet over these last two weeks," Bazin said. "It's nice to peak with the quality of the schedule at this time of the year, because you want to have some time before the postseason to get guys ready who may have some nagging injuries."
Valparaiso and Crown Point both won sectional titles last season and were on course to meet in the regional finals until Lake Central upset the Bulldogs 5-4 in overtime. Crown Point beat Valparaiso 2-0 during the regular season last year at Viking Arena.