Brent Forster - RDC
Red Deer – The RDC Kings were optimistic coming in to their home opening game with some talented recruits and a solid returning core of student-athletes, and both groups made a positive impact.
After the Kings opened the scoring in the first half, they burst the game wide open with five goals in the second half and earned a 6-0 victory to kick off the young Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men's Soccer season.
It didn't take long for one of the skilled new Kings to make an impact. Colin Purnell, a first-year Justice Studies student from Calgary, beat the Ambrose University Lions goalkeeper Matthew Stacey in the 15th minute to push the RDC Kings up 1-0.
Third-year midfielder, Theoren Gill, scored the Kings' second goal in the 57th minute, low to the right side, but he wasn't finished. The Bachelor of Education Elementary student from Red Deer added another one 10 minutes later, and he credited his teammates. "On my first goal, it was a good cross and Will (Salazar) followed up the rebound really nicely. He happened to lay it off to me and I was in the right spot to put it in the corner," says Gill. "On the second one, it was a perfect cross from the corner, from Kyle (Bett), and I happened to get my head on it."
RDC's Timmo van Klaveren, Colin Purnell and William Arcinegas Salazar rounded out the scoring in the final 12 minutes, as the Kings earned a dominant 6-0 victory. The Kings Jacob Hamilton was perfect in net and earned the shutout.
Kings Head Coach Wade Groenewegen noted the elevation of the Kings' play as the game developed. "The goals came and we knew that could happen. As the game went on, we were progressively stronger but hats off to Ambrose, they didn't quit," says Groenewegen. "It's tough to complain about the result but some of the things that we wanted to do were only 90% there and we want to ice that final 10%."
Besides a strong offence, Groenewegen appreciated many aspects of his team's performance. "Our wingbacks were especially strong. Timmo (van Klaveren) and Matthew (Elphick) on the sides dealt with everything that came through. Defensively, they were solid and they provided an attack for us down the wings and in the corners," says Groenewegen. "Through the middle and up front we were a little more creative than we've been, and we got the ball going. There will be some missed passes throughout a game but we were connecting a lot more through midfield. For us, attacking the side of the 18 (yard box) was the big thing. We got down to the dangerous space and into the 18. Matheus (Alves) was really effective on the wing all game. He pretty much owned the left-side."
First-year forward, Colin Purnell, was a key contributor in his opening ACAC game. "Colin is coming out of a quality program in Calgary Foothills," says Groenewegen. "He is one of our strikers and can really make an impact."
Theoren Gill was named the player-of-the-game for RDC and Adrian Strandberg received the nod for Ambrose University.
Gill believed following the game plan was a key to their success. "It was a great opening game for us. We knew coming into this year that the biggest focus is putting the ball in the net, and as the score showed we did that today," says Gill. "It was important to stick to our style of play and moving the ball through, and pushing the corners. We did what the coach asked us to do."
The Kings Head Coach appreciated Gill's timely goals. "We don't get our 6-0 result without those two important goals from Theo. He got the second and third goals, which are at key moments," says Groenewegen. "All goals count the same on the scoresheet but they don't all mean the same. The two goals he scored were ones that we needed."
The Kings will hit the road for a pair of games next weekend. The RDC Kings will face the Olds College Broncos at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, September 15. Twenty-four hours later, the SAIT Trojans will host the Kings, Sunday, September 16.