On Saturday, December 2, All-Star soccer returned to the Twin Cities. This time, the region’s best power soccer athletes put their skills on display at Brooklyn Center High School, and the match certainly didn’t disappoint.
MNUFC and Allina Health came together during last weekend’s Frosty Frenzy Power Soccer tournament for what was a truly special event. By bringing in elements of a Loons gameday, including special guest coaches Devin Padelford and Michael Boxall, Brooklyn Center gym felt like a mini Allianz Field. A strong showing from the Wonderwall provided hearty support for the participating athletes, selected from four different teams in the region.
On Team Black, T.J. Rana represented MNUFC Power Soccer alongside Minnesota Shockwave’s Tiffany Ostrom, Northern Lights’ Grant Larson, and the Chippewa Valley Hooligans’ Amanda White.
On the other side of the court, Team White was made up of MNUFC’s Deandra Bardell, Ben Anco of the Chippewa Valley Hooligans, Jason Vietzke of the Northern Lights, and Lindsay Muench from the Minnesota Shockwave.
In the opening stages of the first half, Team Black dominated possession. Larson, Rana and Ostrom put together some impressive passing sequences, inching ever closer to finding that first goal. However, it was the patient, counter attacking Team White that would ultimately break the deadlock.
With just over five minutes remaining in the first half, Anco found Muench for the go-ahead goal. The rest of the half played out without another score, but Team Black continued to get closer to opening their account. The break came before any more goals were scored, but there was plenty left in the match.
At the half, members of the Power Soccer National Team were recognized, with Nathan Mayer, Pete Winslow, Riley Johnson, and head coach Tracy Mayer all in attendance for the match and the Frosty Frenzy tournament that was taking place before and after the All-Star festivities. A special L’Etoile du Nord was presented to members of Coloplast’s leadership to thank them for their pivotal role in helping the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute with their adaptive sports programs.
With everyone back on the court, the action came roaring back. Less than two minutes into the second half, Anco popped up again for Team White, doubling the lead and giving his side a big boost in momentum. Team White went on to put some passes of their own together, but chances were still cropping up at both ends.
Midway through the half, Team Black got themselves back in the game after a tricky corner play saw Tiffany Ostrom tee up T.J. Rana to cut the deficit in half. With little more than 13 minutes to go, it was anyone’s game.
A thrilling second half continued to excite, with Team White looking to seal the win while Team Black tried to find the equalizer. With four minutes left to play, it was Rana who prevailed, pulling his team level from a well-placed corner, courtesy of Grant Larson.
Both teams had their chances to win it all, with Anco nearly scoring the winner while backing up towards the goal line. At the final whistle, though, the score was knotted at two, and it was time to honor the athletes for their wonderful performance.
With the conclusion of the All-Star Game, the Frosty Frenzy tournament continued, with each of the All-Stars rejoining their respective squads to compete after what was a fantastic exhibition of their sport. Following the event, MNUFC Director of Community Relations Cori Meixner reflected on the experience.
“Uplifting these dynamic athletes and showcasing the inclusivity and adaptability of soccer to our fans is what it’s all about,” she noted. “We’re thankful for our friends at Allina for helping us honor a community that is wildly underrepresented in sports coverage.”
After the success of this year’s game, Meixner is looking to spread the word ahead of the next edition, with hopes of getting even more teams involved. For any fans looking to get involved with power soccer, checkout Midwest Power Soccer, or visit https://www.powersoccerusa.org/ to learn more about the sport itself.