Ponoka Minor Soccer will have to contend with only regional success this season, if any, because the town will not be represented at any provincial tournament this summer following last weekend’s results at the central Alberta qualifying tournament in Stettler.
Teams from Camrose, Lacombe, Wetaskiwin, Sylvan Lake, Rocky Mountain House, Ponoka and Stettler in all competitive categories played a minimum of two games each to decide the team to represent central Alberta in the provincials later in July.
Ponoka’s U16 boys and U14 girls came to the brink of capturing the titles in their own categories, but both lost in the championship games, boys to Lacombe with a 2-0 score, and girls to Camrose with 3-1. To reach the final, U16 boys defeated Rocky Mountain House 4-1 and Camrose 4-0, but could not overcome the significant size advantage of the Lacombe team. U14 girls for their part beat Rocky Mountain House 6-2 and Stettler 5-0 to reach the final.
U14 boys lost their first game to Camrose 7-1 and their second game to Lacombe 3-2. U12 girls lost to Stettler 5-0 in their first game and to Camrose 4-0. U12 boys for their part, lost their first game to Lacombe 4-1 but defeated Camrose 2-1 in the second. However, when they faced Lacombe for the second time in their third game, the score turned out to be 8-1 for the Lacombe side.
Earlier in league play, Ponoka Storm’s U14 boys had a tough game against Stettler FC last week losing 7-0 Wednesday, June 17.
Coach Matt Sealy said he knew it would be a tough game as they were playing against the top team in the league and Stettler FC proved the point.
“We had already played them three times this year and they had won all three. They are a well-coached team and really know how to control the ball. They are very good at short passes, which creates a lot of opportunities for them,” said Sealy.
For Ponoka’s U14 girls, who played Stettler Monday, June 15 it was a different story, winning 4-0.
Coach Greg Bendera says he keeps his goalie, Zoe Pitre, busy during practice with a minimum of 200 shots on goal, which is one factor as to why the team has had a strong season.
“Zoe’s busiest during practice and during the game we want her to be bored,” said Bendera.
U16 boys travelled to Rocky for their only game of the week on Thursday, June 18 and returned with a handsome 5-1 victory.