A dose of gold might be just what the doctor ordered for the Stony Plain U17 indoor soccer team.
The club won the gold medal in Pool B at the Edmonton Minor Soccer Association Polar Cup from Dec. 27-29 in dominant fashion after coming together for their most complete team performance of the season.
“The boys came out and didn’t hold back. We were passing well, holding the ball well, and keeping possession, I had never really seen it from us before. It was an amazing feeling to sit back there and see my team work so well together,” said goalkeeper Ryley Robinson
Head coach Selena Robinson was not going to let a winless record through the first three games of the EMSA regular season deter her group from enjoying their holiday tournament.
She rallied her troops with a rousing speech prior to their tournament opener, and it worked. The Stony Plain offence exploded for four goals, and the club cruised to a 4-3 victory over Woodvale soccer.
“I was really trying to pump the guys up, and to let them know we had to take it one play at a time. I told them, no being selfish with the ball, work together, and find each other. When we won that first game you could just see it in the smiles on their faces, and in their eyes. It was going to be a good weekend of soccer,” said coach Robinson.
They followed up the victory with a come from behind 3-2 win over St. Albert, setting the stage for a championship final between Stony Plain and Meadows indoor soccer team out of Edmonton. In their biggest game of the year, they had their best game of the year.
Offensively, the club found the back of the net three times, while the defence was as impenetrable as they had been all tournament. Stony Plain gave all they had to protect their clean sheet, and managed to do so in more dramatic fashion than the scoreline suggests.
“We had two or three minutes left and I looked at the bench, and we just said in these last three minutes, we play for our keeper. I don’t care what we have to do, let’s get him this shutout, because He’s been beat up all season. Guys were diving and slide tackling everywhere,” said coach Robinson.
With a month and a half left in the season, the club has an entirely new level of confidence in their game. They tied their first game back in league play on Sunday with another quality team driven performance. Ryley Robinson said the sky is the limit If they can bring the same mentality every game.
“It was definitely a boost for the team because the boys were getting a little down with the losses we were taking. Beating some of these cup teams definitely brought us up for sure and I hope we can bring that motivation into our league season.”