Ponoka teams dominate soccer season

Soccer teams in Ponoka took this season by storm, with many teams winning gold at several tournaments.

Back Row: Head Coach Lonny Behm

Back Row: Head Coach Lonny Behm

Soccer teams in Ponoka took this season by storm, with many teams winning gold at several tournaments.

Ponoka Storm, the under 16 girls’ soccer team scored five gold medals this season.

“The under 16 girls are quintuple medalists and possibly the most successful outdoor team ever fielded by Ponoka Minor Soccer,” said assistant coach Shawna Pearman.

The U16 team had only one second-year player, for provincials two were underage call-ups, and the rest were first-year players.

The final game of the Edson tournament was played in 30-degrees heat and kickoff was at noon. “The  girls were exhausted after two hours of soccer in the heat but they never gave up and played outstanding the entire weekend,” Pearman said.

With seconds left in the final game, Cold Lake scored to tie 2-2 with the girls. Another half-hour overtime was played and Ponoka won 4-2.

Tess Pearman, Skye Rogalski and MacKenzy Hatala were selected as all-star players. The Heart and Hustle award was given to one player per game. Chloe Jensen, MacKenzy Hatala, Shaye Leidenus and Skye Rogalski all received the award.

The five events the girls captured gold at are: the CASA Ice Breaker Tournament, the Millet Invitational Tournament, the CASA Provincial Qualifying Tournament, The CASA League Champions and the ASA Tier 4 Rural Provincial Champions.

The Under 14 boys placed fifth in their tournament in Leduc, despite winning most of their games.

It was the team’s second game that, according to head coach Raeanne Warehams, sealed their fate. “Throughout the entire season we didn’t have much competition, so when we met a team with that calibre we almost didn’t know how to react.”

Ponoka had a 3-0 led for the majority of the game but when their competition started making shots they panicked.

According to Warehams, the team struggled with comebacks throughout the season, but it’s something they’ve improved on as a team.

The heat didn’t help the team either, said Warehams. Over the season they’d become accustomed to playing in cold rain and wind. However it was an exceptionally large team with year. Warehams had nine substitute players for the tournament.

“I do think it helped us with the really hot games, they were able to be refreshed.”

The U14 boys had 14 first-year players and six second-year players. They also had one underage call-up. “When he started with us he was 10,” Warehams said.

Two other successful teams in league playoffs are the U18 girls, who took gold in Millet and the U12 girls, who also won the Icebreaker Tournament.