The Red Deer College Kings Soccer team came into the new Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Soccer season with an enthusiastic, but very young team. They had a good test in their opening game in Lethbridge against the Kodiaks on Saturday. A more experienced Kodiaks team opened the scoring but at the half, the Kings kept the game close and only trailed 1-0. Lethbridge College added a pair of goals in the 2nd half and picked up the 3-0 win on their home field.
Talon Grenier was the goalkeeper for the Kings while Kohl Wandyka started for the Kodiaks. Grenier, from Olds, made some key saves and turned aside 6 shots. The game remained scoreless until late in the 1st half. In the 39th minute, Jimmy Bukuru opened the scoring to put his Kodiaks up 1-0. Grenier made 2 saves on the play but Bukuru picked up his own rebound to break the scoreless tie. Lethbridge College held onto the 1-0 lead into the half.
The RDC Kings improved in several aspects of their game in the 2nd half but Emmanuel Ipaa, of Lethbridge College, set up the Kodiaks' 2nd goal from the left side of the Kings' net. Ipaa sent a lob shot to Grenier's right in the 55th minute. Grenier challenged Ipaa and tried to cut down the angle but Lethbridge College's Wilson Ntignee charged the opposite side of the net and directed the ball into the open cage for a 2-0 lead. In the 72nd minute, the Kodiaks went up 3-0 when Pete Ntignee scored on a penalty kick low to the right side of the net. Time wound down and the Kodiaks picked up the 3-0 home victory. Despite the loss, several student-athletes played well and the RDC squad plans to learn from the game.
RDC Kings Soccer Head Coach Wade Groenewegen saw improvement as the game progressed but would like to see a better start on Sunday. "We managed to make more happen with the ball as the game went on. We need to come out of the gates better tomorrow and raise our compete level," said Groenewegen. "Kyle Bett and Hugo Janssen managed to build some momentum up the left side until Hugo rolled his ankle. Koltan Childs had a great game and was by far our player-of-the-game."
Childs, an Open Studies student-athlete from Red Deer, had 1 shot on goal and played the entire game.
As their road trip continues, the RDC Kings (0-1-0) will look to rebound as they face the Medicine Hat College Rattlers (0-0-1) on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. The Rattlers played to a 0-0 draw against the Lakeland College Rustlers on Saturday.