3 Ponoka soccer teams at 2 tourneys bring home medals

(Photos submitted)

(Photos submitted)

The Ponoka Storm U11 boys Tier 3 team competed in the Summer Sizzler tournament in Edmonton this past weekend. Their round robin games landed them against two Tier 2 Edmonton club teams and a Tier 3 team from Grande Prairie.

On Saturday morning, June 18, the U11 boys lost their first game 13-1 against the eventual gold medal winning team from Edmonton.

“We definitely were a bit out of our weight class. But I know our boys learned a few things from their opponents, both individually and as a team. It was our first loss all season,” said coach Matt McArthur.

The U11 boys bounced back in a big way, beating Grande Prairie 14-0 in the afternoon, with eight different players scoring in the game.

This set up the final round robin game against the second Tier 2 Edmonton club team with silver on the line.

After a tough start getting down 2-0, the boys battled back time and again, eventually going into halftime down 5-3.

“Our boys were fighting tooth and nail. Second and third efforts, they left it all out on that field.”

Unfortunately the comeback wasn’t in the cards as Ponoka lost by a final score of 8-3, finishing with the bronze medal in their pool.

“Against a Tier 2 club team from the city, what our boys did was absolutely remarkable. I couldn’t have asked for a better effort,” said McArthur.

The Ponoka Storm U9 boys travelling team played in the Wetaskiwin Spirit Cup June 17 and 18. A team made up of six Ponoka Storm house league teams went undefeated in their three games.

Their final game, playing for gold, was going to put the team to the test as the opposing team from Pigeon Lake came into the game undefeated as well.

“It was impressive to see their drive and determination after having a few easier games,” said coach Lonny Behm. “They battled against a very strong pigeon lake team, were able to gel and come together as a team despite not having any practices together.

“They showcased their skills that they have been working on during the Ponoka house league season and we were very impressed with their 1v1, ball mastery skills and decision making.”

The U9 boys brought home gold after a 3-3 tie and having the most points from the weekend games.

Our U9 girls travelling team were also at the Spirit Cup tournament playing June 18 and 19. For the team not having practiced together, going into the tournament they came out strong and were unbeatable in all of their games, leading them to winning the gold medal in their final game on Sunday.

Coach Dittmar remarked “the team is made up of very talented girls which made the games fun and exciting. I look forward to watching these girls thrive together in the future.”

– Submitted by Ponoka Minor Soccer

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(Photos submitted)