Alex Mercer of U16 Storm thwarts a Lacombe attack as Jaden Hageman and Rian van der Westhuizen follow the position closely during Ponoka’s home game on Thursday

Alex Mercer of U16 Storm thwarts a Lacombe attack as Jaden Hageman and Rian van der Westhuizen follow the position closely during Ponoka’s home game on Thursday

Mixed results in minor soccer

U16 boys and U12 girls soccer highlighted this week.

Ponoka’s U16 boys and U12 girls continued on their league journey last week with the boys suffering their first loss of the season in a tight game and the girls repeating last week’s result.

U16 boys’ Storm first travelled to Wetaskiwin on Tuesday, May 12 and returned with a 3-0 win after a game, which saw the Ponoka boys recover from a sluggish first half only in the second part of the game.

“We were flat and lacking energy in the first half. But we still kept possession most of the half,” said Sandhu.

He praised goalie Justin Hyink for a great save 10 minutes from the end of first half, keeping the score goalless until the point the Storm woke up and started to score.

“The second half we came out energized and dominated start to finish,” said Sandhu. Lewis McDowell scored twice and Dravin Louis added one.

In their second game of the week on Thursday, May 14, U16 boys hosted Lacombe, one of the strongest contenders for the league title this year.

Although Ponoka boys started the game well and secured an early lead through Lewis McDowell, the visitors used their size advantage and began to play more physical and found two goals until the end of the first half going into the second with a 2-1 lead.

“The second half we played a little better, we were more composed on the ball,” said Sandhu. Thanks to better execution, Storm equalized early in the second half but Lacombe came back to take a 3-2 lead and as Ponoka boys struggled to equalize once again, the holes in the defensive setup allowed Lacombe to expand their lead to 4-2 with a score from a swift counter-attack. The absence of Robert Wareham in the Storm defence was felt. Just three minutes from time, Lewis McDowell scored once again to complete his hat-trick, but it was not enough to save the game.

“The game showed us what we need to work on after having a few less challenging games earlier in the season,” said Sandhu. “Great learning curve for us.”

As for U12 girls, they returned from their second trip to Stettler in as many weeks with an 8-0 loss.