Fireworks abruptly end Temple's OT field hockey game

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A planned fireworks display ended a Temple field hockey game early.

The Owls were locked in a 0-0 tie with Maine on the Kent State campus in Ohio on Saturday.

The teams had played a full regulation match and one overtime period.

But fire regulations forced the teams to clear the field because there was a pre-game fireworks show scheduled before the Kent State football game, which was being held at the adjacent stadium.

The fireworks went off, and the field hockey game was never completed.

"The circumstances that prevented the completion of our field hockey contest against Maine on Saturday are simply unacceptable and our student athletes and coaches deserved better," said Temple University Director of Athletics Dr. Patrick Kraft. "Fairness and equality are essential in the mission of college sports and I am disappointed for the student athletes at Maine and Temple whose competition was not deemed worthy to finish. I am so very proud of our head coach, Susan Ciufo, her staff and our student-athletes for the way they handled the disappointment of not being able to complete this hard-fought match."

Maine Athletic Director Ken Ralph also issued a statement:

"We would like to thank the athletics community at large for their overwhelming support of the Maine and Temple field hockey programs. These teams are an important element of the fabric of these outstanding institutions and to see people rally to their side means a great deal to both schools. Here at Maine, our field hockey program is a reputational driver for athletics. The program is a consistent presence in the national rankings and has produced not only outstanding athletes but outstanding citizens as well. With the termination of the game on Saturday, our players were left confused and hurt by the decision. While it is well known Kent State University had indicated back in May the field was not available after 10:30 am, it is also clear that there is a full executed contract authorizing a 9:00 am start. Once you allow a game to commence, you are obligated to allow the game to continue to conclusion.

I am so very proud of the way our players, staff, coaches, and campus community have handled themselves in regards to this situation. I hope we can turn out a huge crowd in support of our team for their next home game this Friday at 3:00 pm against Boston University. They have proven at every turn they are worthy of your support and encouragement. Go Black Bears!"

The University of Maine said both teams complied with the directive, and the game was ruled a no contest and categorized as an exhibition.

Kent State issued an apology for stopping the game.

"We regret today's game had to be stopped during overtime play per field guidelines as previously discussed. We recognize the hard work and dedication of all student-athletes. The safety of our community, including student-athletes and visitors is always our first consideration," Kent State Field Hockey tweeted.

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