U-14 boys soccer take on Lacombe in tough battle

“I like to keep the play going more so there’s more flow.” Wouter Opsteen, U-14 boys soccer coach

Aidon Gratton makes a header June 11 during a game against Lacombe. The boys lost 7-5.

Aidon Gratton makes a header June 11 during a game against Lacombe. The boys lost 7-5.

Better luck next time for Ponoka Storm’s U-14 boys soccer team who lost a close 7-5 game against the Lacombe Panthers June 11.

The game was not always as close as the final score however, and the U-14 boys struggled in the second half to meet a strong offence.

The biggest challenge they faced was trusting each other to complete plays, explained coach Wouter Opsteen. He says teamwork is a big focus during practices.

“We’re working together but it takes a few minutes to work into it,” said Opsteen.

Ponoka Storm was able to keep a 2-1 lead in the first half but as the Panthers took to the field at the start of the second half, the home team appeared to struggle to keep the momentum they developed.

Lacombe was able to score successive goals in a relatively short time, which left Ponoka scrambling to keep up. Opsteen said he lets his players work things out before calling a substitution.

“I like to keep the play going more, so there’s more flow,” he explained.

He did switch a few players and spoke with his team over strategies. He encouraged them to work harder to make plays. The pep talk seemed to work and Ponoka Storm was able to capitalize on some goals in the second.

“They worked together after 15-minutes of the second half,” he explained.

While the U-14 boys are ranked second last in the league, Opsteen feels they have made some important improvements over the year. “The results don’t show how they play.”

Ponoka Storm U-14 boys have an equal complement of 12-year-old players and 13-year-old players, said Opsteen.