It was worth the drive to play Calgary minor soccer for the Impact
By April Cruz
A weekend of Outdoor Provincial games for Tier 3 Calgary minor soccer players wrapped up late Sunday afternoon. The boys under 16 Tier 3 of the St. Albert Impact faced the Coaldale Thunder in the gold medal game.
What a difference gold makes in the intensity of play on the pitch. Both teams battled hard, taking as many shots as they could in each end. The game was physical but kept in great control by the refereeing. Parents on the sidelines openly expressed how impressed they were with the quality of officiating.
Each player had to make about a three hour drive to Calgary. One team from the north and the other from the south of our city. The drive was worth it as both teams drove home with medals around their necks.
After a fast paced and heated 90 minutes of playing, the game was tied 3-3.
An overtime of two 15 minute halves was necessary to determine the winner. After 30 minutes of overtime play, if the score was still tied, it would have come down to penalty kicks to make the final decision.
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Thankfully the win did come during overtime.
The St. Albert Impact scored two more goals during overtime, securing the gold.
Coaldale Thunder didn’t leave empty handed. They will be taking silver medals home.
The St. Albert Impact assistant coach, Kevin Lazarenko, was impressed with his team’s effort.
“The boys played really hard. They had four games this weekend,” he said. “We were up 2 nothing, went down 3 to 2 and they pulled it out and won it in extra time, so really good job by our boys.”
Their coach, Andy McCartney, believed a difference for his boys in this game was their level of fitness.
“We’ve worked really hard on conditioning. I think with the four games over two days, the conditioning came through in the end. I think that was the difference,” shared McCartney. “These guys (Thunder) fought a hard game but I think they were more tired than we were.”
The difference between a silver and gold medal could easily come down to fatigue. This just adds to the excitement of these games. It’s never clear until the final moments which team will dig deep and come out on top.
The Outdoor Provincial Tournament action continues for the next two weekends at different locations in Alberta.
Next weekend is all about the Tier 2 teams.
For more about Calgary minor soccer team standings visit the CMSA website.
For the Provincials schedule and locations, visit the AMA website.
Outdoor Provincial Boys U16 Tier 3 Goals Scored:
St. Albert Impact
# 20 – 2