Ponoka Storm Under 11 boys teams. On the left (green jerseys), the 2019 league gold medallists team Yeo, also CASA Under 11 district tournament “B” side winners. On the right (white jerseys), the 2019 league bronze medalists team Bendera, also the CASA Under 11 District tournament winners. They will continue to the Under 11 rural tournament July 13 and 14 in Camrose. Photo submitted

Ponoka clubs off to soccer provincials

Several local teams Storm-ed toward a championship over the weekend.

Ponoka played host to the Central Alberta Soccer Association (CASA) Tier IV provincial qualifier tournament June 21 to 23 and saw the U17 boys and U19 girls earning the chance at the provincial championship.

The U19 girls faced off with Rocky Mountain House in a two-game series with the visiting squad coming out on top, taking the top spot 4-3 on aggregate.

Despite the result, both teams already knew they had a berth into the provincial tournament, as Rocky Mountain House will host provincials July 5 to 7.

Meanwhile, the U17 boys managed to comeback from a one-goal deficit in the second half to beat Wetaskiwin 5-4 in their semi-final match. That got them a berth in the provincial championship, set for Fort Saskatchewan July 5 to 7, as CASA had been allotted two spots this year.

Whether knowing they were “in” played into the final against Camrose or if the Storm were simply running low on steam, Ponoka walked off with the silver following a 4-2 loss.

Storm clouds

The U13 girls weren’t able to win any of their three games at the qualifier, as Camrose dominated the event by shutting out each team they faced in the round robin event. As for the U13 boys, who came into the qualifier ranked second, it was a tough weekend as the club failed to advance after making it to the final.

Meanwhile, both U11 boys squads came away from the district tournament, hosted in Ponoka, with medals.

Coming in ranked third, Team Bendera powered through the competition to capture the gold which included edging the other Ponoka squad, second ranked Team Yeo, 5-4 in the semi-final then beating top-ranked Camrose for the title. Bendera’s club, along with Camrose, will represent the district at the rural challenge event next month. Team Yeo did, however, earn themselves a bronze medal.

League success

Ponoka has enjoyed some similar success in league play as the season wraps up.

The U19 girls as well as U11 Team Yeo captured their respective league titles while the U17 boys ended up with silver and it was bronze for U11 Team Bendera.

Three other teams, U13 boys and girls plus U11 girls, were slated to play their final games this week. The U13 clubs both played for bronze June 24 at home while the U11 girls went to Stettler June 25 in search of gold. The results of these contests were not available at press time.

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The Ponoka Storm Under 17 boys are the CASA league silver medallists for 2019. Photo submitted

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