After travelling an undefeated road into Stettler for provincials this past weekend, the Drumheller U18 soccer team took home silver after competing with Alberta’s best.
Despite placing ninth last year, the team met their goal to advance to the gold medal final on Sunday, July 5 where they lost 4-1 against a strong squad from Medicine Hat.
The rough play resulted in two key team players receiving yellow cards. The team captain was carded twice, causing him to be ineligible to play in the next game.
The U18s then took on the Rocky Knights, and without their captain as a key forward, the team had to make important adjustments to an already small team. The game ended in a 0-0 draw, with many chances to score, according to coach Martin McSween, who just finished his last season coaching.
“We needed to tie or win to be at the top of our group. Rocky lost to Lac La Biche and tied us which placed us in first place in our grouping. This meant we moved on to play the top second place team in the tournament, Smokey Lake on Sunday morning,” McSween said of the series.
Sunday’s semi-final games featured four teams, Smokey Lake versus Drumheller, and Stettler vs. Medicine Hat. Winners advanced to the gold medal game and losers advanced to the bronze medal match.
Drumheller beat out Smokey Lake 3-1 which gave berth into the gold medal match against a strong Medicine Hat team, said coach McSween.
“We legitimately earned the right to be in the final by our tournament results,” McSween said, but the gold medal game was not without controversy.
There was questions raised about the legitimacy of the Medicine Hat squad, and the issue is now in the hands of the Alberta Soccer Association to investigate.
“We lost in the final to a well disciplined team, giving us the silver medal.”