Ponoka U17 girls’ coach Greg Bendera gets a cooling off after the girls won the league last week. The team not only won league but managed a berth at provincials in two weeks. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Ponoka Storm U17 girls take league

Just days before provincial qualifiers, the U17 girls earned a solid league win at home

Just days before the Central Alberta Soccer Association qualifiers in Ponoka, the U17 Storm girls won the league.

Playing at home June 20, the girls were so excited with the 1-0 win against Camrose that they doused coach Greg Bendera with a refreshing bucket of ice cold water. Somewhat breathless after the famous sporting ritual, Bendera said he was pleased with the team’s performance.

There were two moments of anxiety in the game with the first being a solid shot close on goal, but that was knocked away by goalie Rianna Morrow. Later in the match a shot that made it past Ponoka’s goalie looked to slow down the team’s momentum, but was called as a hand ball.

Camrose was definitely looking to defeat Ponoka as they are the only team to defeat them this season, said Bendera. “They’re an outstanding team.”

“They put it all out there.”

The game showed just how well Ponoka has done all season.

“It’s been a great season,” said Bendera. “We were 7-1-1 in league.”

And now the girls are heading to provincials in a few weeks after a solid qualifiers tournament.

U17 boys

Playing for bronze medal in league was the U17 boys who lost a tight game in a shootout.

Coach Rich Evans said the team played well making quite a few chances against their opponents.

“We just didn’t put them in the back of the net,” said Evans.

He feels nerves really affected the team in the penalty shoot out.

While the team just missed out on a bronze medal, he was pleased with athletes’ overall performance over the season.

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