Acme/Linden U18 Soccer win Provincial Gold


With all the controversy surrounding the Soccer Provincials this year, we all were wondering if there would even be any.
Well, they went ahead and what a weekend Acme/Linden had recently.
The U18 Boys and Girls went up and played in St. Albert and BOTH teams brought home Provincial Championships.
In addition the U16 Boys and Girls played in Provincials and also had a creditable showing with the Acme Girls losing out playing in the gold medal game by only a one goal difference with a goal saving hand-ball on the goal line being shielded from the referees view.
The U18 Girls' tournament was expanded to nine teams at the last minute and so they changed the format to three round robin groups and semi finals and finals.
In the first game the girls fought a hard battle on the artificial turf with Sunnyside Coaldale that ended in a 0-0 draw.
They then faced the hosts St. Albert, also in their pool, and maybe played their best game, dominating them to win 3-0.
In the semi-finals, they again faced Coaldale and managed to get the better of them in another close game ending in a 1-0 win.
In the finals, it was a nail-biter that could have gone either way, with the defenses managing to hold each other until 10 minutes from the end when Des Toews put Kendel Pierce through. Kendel kept her cool with the goalkeeper coming out at her and put the deciding goal in the corner to win the gold medal for the jubilant Girls.
The Boys had three round robin matches and then went straight to the final.
The first was possibly the toughest match of the tournament for them in a weather shortened game. Down 2-1 with 10 minutes to play, the Boys came roaring back to score twice in the last 10 minutes to earn a well-deserved win.
Next up was Northwest Peace, but the game turned out to be a fairly easy win for the team pulling away to a 9-0 victory with Alex Keet contributing four goals in the game.
The Boys found themselves ahead 3-0 with 20 munites left in their final group game against Evansburg on the artificial turf, but a couple of costly errors let the other team score two quick goals. The boys hardened their resolve in time however and held on to win 3-2.
While warming up for the finals, a very tall and athletic Stettler team taunted Acme and tried to intimidate them. Acme came out and scored 10 minutes into the game and never looked back. The game got increasingly physical as it went on with one Stettler player being sent off to cool off. Acme dominated the second half and eventually wore their opponent down. Cody Moldrup contributed two goals. Conrad Neufeld capped a magnificent display by he and his defensive teammates by scoring the goal of the tournament rising above a much taller opposition to head a corner past the goalie and seal the game.
It was really a super effort by both teams and most of the players will finish their playing careers in the very best possible way. It might be a while before the feat is repeated by anyone.
Congratulations to the players on all four teams. They have a lot to be proud of.