A select team of U16 girls soccer players from five communities came away with a gold medal from the recent Red Deer City Soccer Association tournament.
This team was formed to give the girls an opportunity to play further into the summer, as the tier 4 season runs until the beginning of July. To do this, the newly formed team had to move up and compete at the tier 3 level. The squad was composed of nine girls from Ponoka, five from Stettler and three each from Sylvan Lake and Lacombe.
Although the girls were sporting the Ponoka Storm jerseys, they decided to name themselves “La Pottler Lake” to unite the team, and acknowledge all four home communities.
Winning a medal at this tournament was a remarkable feat. These girls had only three practices together before taking the pitch in Red Deer. To come away with a medal, while competing against teams who have played together for a minimum of three months, is nothing short of amazing.
The girls played Big Country (Olds) in their first game and tied 1-1. They then defeated Camrose Selects 1-0. In their last game of round robin play, the opposition was the NCU Juventus team from Calgary and the game finished with a 1-1 draw.
The girls advanced to the gold medal final and faced Juventus again. The game was a scoreless tie at the end of regulation play, putting the game into a shootout. Both team’s first five shooters scored, bringing it to sudden death penalties, where “La Pottler Lake” lost 7-6 to Juventus.
To put this team’s performance into proper perspective, they defeated the CASA tier 3 provincial representatives, and posted a draw and a loss on penalties to a Calgary city team that plays at the tier 2 level throughout the spring soccer season. The “La Pottler Lake” girls are all tier 4 players in their own community programs.
These young women showed their talent, skill, competitive drive and represented their local associations with pride.