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Pony girls go for the ‘Bank’

Nicholas Gag, SNO Sports Editor

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Aerial view of Pony Stadium as the girls edged out White Bear Lake in an intense thriller 1-0. Sophomore Abby Begin knocked in the winning goal of the game through a penalty kick late in the game as the girls had moved on to the next round of the section tournament.

There are hundreds of girls soccer teams in the state of Minnesota. Many have their eyes set on winning a couple games and having a good time, the Ponies have much higher aspirations than that. Their goal this season was to get to the “Bank”. The Bank is a reference to State which is being held at the newly constructed US Bank Stadium. Many teams fall off the path on the way to state but the Ponies haven’t. They are a top tier team in the state and are looking to make a big impact.

The Ponies find themselves with only two losses so far this season. They are ranked only behind teams like Wayzata, East Ridge and Eagan. The girls have set their goals and are sticking to them. Coached by Mike Huber, Huber and his team have withstood the battles of this season and are hoping to successfully take the section and move on to the coveted state tournament.

The Ponies make soccer look very easy because they are so skilled and play so well as a group. Although it may seem that way, they work hard each and every game to maintain their high ranking.

Junior Ava Pagnucco said, “Mounds View was the hardest win. Woodbury was a hard game, because we got a lot of yellow and red cards, and had to work extra hard and play well despite those.”

The crazy thing is that at the start of the year, many people on the team didn’t expect all of this success. One would think a team of this caliber would have seen this coming but Pagnucco said, “No, we didn’t have a great season last year, so I don’t think any of us expected this much success.”

The Ponies have continued to win and they are winning by big margins. Several times this season sophomore Evie Kohn has delivered a shutout and her offense has pulled their weight as well. Many times the Ponies win by more than three. They have dominated and are looking to keep that going into the State tournament.

Many conferences do not have an elite team. This year the SEC has two of them. In fact, they have two top five teams in the state. Stillwater and East Ridge play in the same conference and are both state powerhouses.

One would think that there would be pressure for the girls with such a great team in their conference but junior Molly Conners isn’t letting that phase her.

East Ridge is almost all really good seniors so it scares me, but I know that we want it really bad.”

— Molly Conners

She said, “East Ridge is almost all really good seniors so it scares me, but I know that we want it really bad. There is a lot of pressure on us being number one while East Ridge gets a lot of credit.”

Competition has yet to phase the team as the girls continue to steamroll their way through this season. As the year has gone further the girls just continue to work harder. They just won a hard fought game against White Bear Lake in sections. They won it through a penalty kick by sophomore Abby Begin that propelled them to a 1-0 victory. The game was very intense and the Ponies barely edged out the Bears.

It must be very hard to keep a level head in a game that is that intense but Conners kept her mind focused as she said, “For most of the game I was thinking about winning, but after White Bear got multiple close chances I realized there was a possibility we would lose. Close games are always more intense and fun to me.”

The Ponies continue to look strong as the state tournament comes closer. “The Bank” is in sight and the girls are going after it.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Pony girls go for the ‘Bank’”

  1. Adam Humpal on November 20th, 2016 6:48 pm

    I liked the conclusion which was short but it did a nice job of capping off the story, and it connected the beginning of the story to the end. The quotes were good, but I thought that the fact paragraphs were the most informative, and showed that the author had a good understanding of the topic.

    [Reply]

  2. Allison Heintz on November 21st, 2016 4:34 pm

    I like the lead of this article. It’s explanation is good and gets to the point but also adds detail that makes you want to read more. I also like how this is written before the state championship to see how the player are feeling before and think they will do. This is a good article and a fun topic to write about. The title is also a good part to this article because it leaves you wondering what the “bank” really means.

    [Reply]

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Pony girls go for the ‘Bank’