Queens Soccer 2019-20 season preview

All-conference selection, Mikayla Fujimoto, is one of 11 returning Queens who is looking for a strong opening weekend on the road. Pic - Colby Brochu Photography
All-conference selection, Mikayla Fujimoto, is one of 11 returning Queens who is looking for a strong opening weekend on the road. Pic - Colby Brochu Photography

2018 – 19 review

The RDC Queens (8-2-2) placed second during the regular season in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women's Soccer South Division and then dropped their quarter-final game to the Concordia University Thunder.

2018 - 19 Awards

ACAC Women's South All-Conference team – Mikayla Fujimoto (midfielder), Teryn Wright (midfielder) and Erin Gill (goalkeeper)

Mikayla Fujimoto   Photo - Tony Hansen

 

RDC Athletics Awards Night

Coach's Award - Emily Richard

Most Improved Player - Hayley Nassichuk-Dean

Most Valuable Player - Teryn Wright

Rookie of the Year - Mikayla Fujimoto

 

2019 – 20 preview

Returning Queens Soccer Head Coach Esad Elkaz has plenty of optimism heading into the 2019-20 ACAC Women's Soccer season.

"There are a lot of positive things this year. We have a very talented group," says Elkaz. "We just have to blend everything together and go from there. Our plan from day one is to get better every year and we are taking steps."

 

Esad Elkaz   Photo - Tony Hansen

 

Assistant coaches - Randy Pfeifle, Steve Fullarton, Admir Sarcevic, Jessie Stewart

 

Returning players

GoalkeeperAlethea Riemer

DefenceLexi Kowalchuk, Rebecca McBride, Kayla Nesseth, Bronwyn Pfeifle

MidfieldersNatalie Frenette, Mikayla Fujimoto, Abbi Galloway, Emily Richard, Ashley Thomson

ForwardsAlisha Coules

Elkaz will look to several student-athletes to help guide his squad during the season. "I have a lot of leaders this year and I expect each one of them to bring something to the table–on and off the field," he explains. "My two captains, Bronwyn Pfeifle and Emily Richard, will lead us throughout the season."

Bronwyn Pfeifle  Photo - Tony Hansen

New players

GoalkeeperRiley DeRaaf

DefenceTeagan Clement, McKenna Ryan

MidfieldersSarah Donald, Abby Grobmeier

Forwards -  Bailey Richarde, Brooklyn Riopel

Red shirtMiranda Cook

Despite some departures, which include 2018-19 ACAC All-Conference team members Teryn Wright and Erin Gill, the Queens have handpicked eight recruits to fill the gaps and complement this year's group. "I'm very excited about all of the players on the roster," says Elkaz. "This year, we are deep in every single position – from the defence, to the midfield to the forwards. I think everything is coming together."

 

Not returning

Erin Gill, Jaden Humphrey, Emilee Kronbauer, Hayley Nassichuk-Dean, Taylor Pankiw, Natasha Saleem, Kayla Yeo, Teryn Wright

 

From August 23-25, the Red Deer College Soccer teams hosted the RDC Invitational Soccer Tournament at Edgar Athletic Park, and the Queens finished with an even 2-2 record in exhibition action. The RDC Queens handled the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves 6-1 and the Keyano College Huskies 1-0. In two setbacks, the King's University Eagles downed the Queens 4-2 and Concordia University shutout a depleted RDC team 9-0.

"Unfortunately, there were a lot of injuries," says Elkaz. "The last game against Concordia, we were short one player and we played with only ten."

As the regular season approaches, healing the injuries will be a priority. "This week we want to strive to get everyone better," says Elkaz. "We hope to fix those injuries and get the team ready for Medicine Hat and Lethbridge."

The Queens will open the 2019-20 ACAC season on Saturday, September 7 at 2:00 p.m. in Medicine Hat. Last season, the Rattlers (2-9-1) finished seventh in the south. Then on Sunday, September 8, the RDC Queens will challenge the Kodiaks in Lethbridge at 12:00 p.m. The Kodiaks (6-4-2) finished third in the south in 2018-19.

Elkaz believes the Queens will have a productive year if they pay attention to several areas. "I am pretty sure that we will have a successful season if the ladies focus and play the best they can," he says. "They also have to listen to the instructions of the coaching staff, stay patient and follow the plan. Ultimately, it will be up to the players, but we try to give them the tools to get there."

The Red Deer College Queens will play their home opener against the Olds College Broncos on Friday, September 13 at 2:00 p.m. at RDC Main Field.