The Ponoka Storm U13 Girls have added another silver to their medal collection.
The Storm fell 2-0 to Medicine Hat in the final of the FC Memorial indoor soccer tournament in Edmonton in the Tier 3 division.
The momentum for most of the tournament final had been in the Storm’s favour, but Medicine Hat tallied a goal in the late stages of the first half, and added another in the second to secure the win.
The final was the only game the Storm would lose in the entire tournament, blasting Bonnyville 11-1 in the opening matchup.
“They played a great possession game which created many scoring chances off of their passing,” said Lonny Behm, Ponoka Storm coach.
The second game was quite physical, but the Storm battled to a 3-1 win over Edmonton.
“The girls played at such a high level all weekend and showed they could win games in many different ways,” said Behm.
“The biggest take away was that these young ladies showed that being from a small community with no facilities, they can still play with communities 10 times the size of our community.”
Competitive teams league play
While the U-13 Girls found success in Edmonton over the weekend, Ponoka’s other two competitive teams, the U-11 Coeds and the U-13 Boys, continued their pattern of success within central Alberta league play.
The U-11 Coed team entered the weekend sitting in second place, but had two games in hand.
With two scheduled matches at the Dome in Red Deer, (one of them against the top team), coach Matt McArthur and the team knew they had an opportunity to leapfrog the top team and firmly establish themselves with a pair of wins.
“The first match was much tougher than we initially anticipated, but thankfully we pulled it out, beating Lacombe 3-2,” said McArthur.
Taking on the top team from Camrose was next in order. Despite a shortened coaching staff due to the Edmonton tournament, McArthur drew up a gameplan that accentuated Ponoka strengths.
While the match was close in the beginning, Ponoka’s relentless attack won the day. The Storm defeated the Camrose Vikings 6-3.
The win pushed the U-11s to the top of the standings, where they currently hold a record of 10-1-1.
On the other end of central Alberta, the U-13 Boys team played a doubleheader in Camrose against the home side.
To date, the Boys team has been riding roughshod over their competition.
“It can be difficult to recreate the necessary adversity that teams need to foster a winning attitude. We have to be creative to generate difficulties for the boys,” said coach Rob McArthur.
In the first match, Ponoka downed Camrose 9-3, following that up with a 10-2 decision in the second game.
“We actually started that second match going down 2-0. Their keeper followed their goals up with a few big saves. Their bench was pretty excited and there is always a big Camrose crowd for their home games.
“We could hear the quiet murmuring of a couple of our boys about this possibly being our first loss. Our coaching staff were actually excited to see how the boys would respond to the first real adversity they’ve faced all year in league play.”
Ponoka responded with 10 unanswered goals and another statement win. The results of Saturday afternoon put the U-13 Boys’ record to 12-0 in league play.
“Seeing the results from all three of our competitive indoor teams shows how well our program is progressing. Pound for pound, Ponoka is one of the strongest soccer associations in the Province,” said Rob, who also serves as club president.
“It’s nice to see our children finding success.”
– Story submitted by Ponoka Minor Soccer Association