Stettler’s U18 girls, already crowned with their success at Camrose Night Classic, turned out to be the only Stettler team to represent Central Alberta in the provincials in Edson on July 11-13 following their strong showing at the provincial qualifiers played in Lacombe over the last weekend, June 20-22.
The Stettler girls first played against Wetaskiwin for an easy victory, scoring five goals and conceding none.
They did not need to play their second game as their opponent, Rocky Mountain House did not show up for the game, one of several cases of forfeiting by teams in several categories. Teams from Innisfail and Blackfalds also failed to turn up for their games
When the girls took to the field on Sunday afternoon, they were laden with a lot of confidence as they took on Rimbey and came out of the game with a 7-1 score.
Coach Shelley Davis-Hall said “I am very proud that the girls have played every game with heart and they have stepped up to cover teammates when we have had injuries.”
She added that it was their team spirit that made reach their goal of winning the top spot in Lacombe.
“This team is what the word ‘team’ is all about, one for all and all for one,” she said.
In the course of the weekend, forwards scored seven of the team’s 12 with mid fielders completing the tally.
“Let’s not forget our goalie and the defensemen for stopping the other teams from having goal scoring opportunities,” the coach added.
As for the U-18 boys, they ended up being less lucky than their female counterparts when it came to the finals.
The boys played four games over the weekend with their first game being a win over Wetaskiwin with a score of 3-2. The second Saturday game saw the boys tie Rocky 0-0 with the roster suffering from injuries and inability to take the ball to the net despite controlling possession. In Sunday’s first game which ended with a 5-1 win over Camrose, Jacques Du Toit had three goals and singles came from Braden Deagle and Avi Bains.
The three wins and tie lead to a final game showdown with Lacombe for the Zone banner.
Despite an early goal from Garret Burns, Lacombe took the play to Stettler and led 2-1 at halftime.
Lacombe scored two more goals for a 4-1 win, although the boys put significant pressure on the Lacombe defense.
As for U-12 girls, they also suffered a little from inadequate organization when they had to wait for more than an hour until a referee was found to officiate their game.
But the girls ended the season with a winning note, a 3-0 score over Ponoka on the last day of the tournament.
“Even though they lost most of their games this season, they never gave up and they always had the most amazing smiles on their faces,“ said coach Amy Sylvester.
“They have improved so much in the last two months and were never afraid to try new positions on the field.
“I’m so proud of my girls winning their last game of the season 3-0,“ she concluded.
No information was available at the time of writing regarding the performance of the other teams at the Lacombe tournament.