Lac La Biche soccer teams provincials bound
After a thrilling weekend at the Lakeland Cup in Vermilion, two Lac La Biche soccer teams will be heading to the provincial tournament. The U18 girls and the U18 boys both won gold and will represent Lac La Biche in Edson on July 8.
The U18 girls had a tough road to the finals after losing their second game to Cold Lake. The girls needed to win the rest of their games, and overcame playing three games in two days to force a rematch with Cold Lake in the finals. After being down 0-2 early, the game seemed to be in question, but the girls fought back and tied the game 3-3, winning in a gripping shootout with a final score of 4-3.
“The coaches were just beside themselves, we were all so nervous, but the girls played really well, I was so proud of them,” said Al Bertschi, the assistant coach for the U18 girls. “ We have had a great year, and we hope to continue our strong play at provincials.”
This win is a particularly special one for head coach Phil Kinnunen, who has now taken the U18 Girls soccer program to provincials three years in a row. For assistant coach Bertschi, who watched his team lose in the gold medal shootout last year, the win was also a rewarding one.
“We came here with a goal, and we’re very proud to have achieved that goal this year,” Bertschi said.
The U18 boys had a slightly easier path to the finals winning all of their games and beating Bonnyville in the finals with a score of 2-1.
The U14 Boys placed second in the tournament bringing home silver, and the U14 Girls came in fourth place.
LAKELAND LEAGUE COMING TO A CLOSE
For the remaining U12 and U16 teams, the Lakeland league will wrap up this week, with all roads pointing to the Lakeland Cup tournament in St. Paul June 22 to 24. The U12 girls and U12 boys are both poised to make some noise in the Lakeland Cup as they have yet to lose a game in league play, and will enter the tournament undefeated. The U16 Girls have some work to do, as they played their last game against Cold Lake June 18, and will hope to improve upon their current 2-2-1 record.
The U16 Boys also have a difficult road ahead entering the Lakeland Cup with a 1-4-1 record. The boys will need to play some tough competition early in order to make it to the medal round.
Only the top team in each age group will go to the provincial tournament in Edson.
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