FOCUS – Lacombe Panther Johnathan Bell races hard to steal the ball away from Stettler player James Switenky during a recent game in Lacombe. The Panthers won 4-1.

Lacombe Panthers stomp Stettler at College Heights

Panthers U-16 minor soccer team took to College Heights this week where they battled strong winds and took out the Stettler U-16

Lacombe Panthers U-16 minor soccer team took to College Heights this week where they battled strong winds and took out the Stettler U-16 with a final score of 4-1.

Conditions lent the players no favours as they fought for the ball. However, strong winds and light rain didn’t seem to damper the Lacombe minor soccer spirit as Nico VanDoesburg pushed through and secured the first goal of the game.

“We did start a little slow, and that’s kind of typical of our team, I’m not sure why. It seems to take us 15 minutes or so to get going but we have a strong bunch of players, and a good bunch of kids so they really get it going later on in the game,” said Lacombe Head Coach Dave Heslop.

The Panthers played the game with a strong defence in the first half, ensuring that the ball stayed mostly in their opponent’s end of the field. The boys demonstrated skill in maintaining control of the ball, and were working hard to keep it away from Stettler.

“We do focus on that defence because we believe a good defence will get you the win, and we do have some really strong defenders. We’re so far nine games into the season and undefeated. We’ve had six regular season games, and three games in the Sun Breaker tournament and have gone undefeated so far. The defensive strategy really pays off for us,” Heslop said.

“What we’ve got is kind of a core group of boys that have been together, probably since they were 12-years-old. They’ve accepted their roles – they know they aren’t going to score the goals or whatever, but they know their responsibilities and they do a great job with it.”

The boys from Stettler didn’t go down without effort. There was a great push from the players to try and regain control over the ball, and many excellent passes along the field. The wind played a role in several stop-and-start instances in the game, but overall the players pushed through to continue the battle.

Stettler evened the score 1-1 early in the second half but were soon overtaken by the Panthers. VanDoesburg scored two more goals in the game, and Keith Tembrinke contributed a goal as well.

So far, the Panthers have reigned undefeated in their season. Right now, Heslop said the boys will be working on tightening up their basic skills to carry them through to provincials. As well, the team puts a focus on connecting off the pitch as well to develop good relationships and comradery among the players.

“We feel that we maybe need to hone up on the skills that are already there. Our ultimate goal is to make it to provincials, so that’s our main goal for the year. Really, we just need to brush up and polish up on the fundamentals of the game. That’s always important,” Heslop said.

“We have really good team chemistry. For instance, we’re going out to Gull Lake for a team-building thing and we do events like that to make sure we have a good, solid team atmosphere. We win as a team, and we lose as a team.”




Just Posted

Blackfalds RCMP seeking information on activities of stolen Fountain Tire Truck

Blackfalds RCMP recovered truck following earlier collision and car-jacking

MNP Canada Games Torch Relay coming to Lacombe

Torchbearers will carry the torch on a 4.64 km loop around Cranna Lake

Blackfalds RCMP on scene of school bus collision and car jacking

RCMP are looking for a silver 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander with Alberta license plate BNR655

Oil and Gas researcher Vivian Krause to speak in Lacombe

UCP fundraiser brings in researcher claiming to expose dirty American lobby money in Canada

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after truck collides with six vehicles

No one was injured and the male driver was restrained by a nearby resident until police arrived

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Blackfalds welcomes Canada Winter Games Torch Relay

Canada Games run Feb. 15th to March 3rd

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Alberta government to partially backstop new $2 billion dollar bitumen upgrader

Project would create more than 2,000 jobs during construction

Most Read