Brent Forster - RDC
Red Deer - While it wasn't the conditions that best suited the Red Deer College Kings' style of play, they didn't let the weather hinder the result of their afternoon matchup against the Medicine Hat College Rattlers.
The Kings were ready to compete from the onset and after a fast opening goal, they continued to work hard and eventually won 5 - 2 at the RDC Main Field.
In only the 5th minute, Matheus Alves, a second-year midfielder from Brazil, quickly moved up the left side, manoeuvred around a Rattlers defender and beat goalkeeper Joao Vitor Duz Batista with a precise strike. Calgary's Kyle Bett recorded the lone assist. After some strong zone play, the RDC Kings were rewarded again for their efforts. First-year, Andre Araujo Queiroz was set up by Gabriel Fleury de Queiroz and gave the Kings a 2-0 lead in the 30th minute.
The Rattlers tried to climb back into the game. Four minutes later, Yolmen Sanchez Guevara, a first-year midfielder, pulled the Rattlers within one but that was as close as they would get.
The Red Deer College Kings elevated their offence in the final 45 minutes. Early in the second half, the Kings restored their two goal cushion in the 46th minute when William Arcinegas Salazar redirected a ball into the empty net. Theoren Gill and Gabriel Fleury de Queiroz recorded the assists.
In the 55th minute, William Arcinegas Salazar, a Bachelor of Kinesiology student from Columbia, used his tremendous speed down the right side and sent a nice pass out front where Matheus Alves made no mistake for a 4 - 1 edge.
Kings Soccer Head Coach Wade Groenewegen was pleased with the Kings' ability to set the tone with their style of play. "We kind of lost ourselves last weekend," says Groenewegen. "We didn't find our own game and we really found it again today so it was good. If the guys play the same way tomorrow then we will be in really good shape."
Groenewegen appreciated the RDC Kings' ability to adjust and persist on a damp pitch. "It was tough conditions and not so much the cold, but the wet field, really didn't suit our style of play," says Groenewegen. "We can't close as quickly as we normally do so I thought that the guys did really well with that."
Andre Araujo Queiroz was named the Player-of-the-Game for the Kings and Stephen Copeland received the award for the Rattlers.
With a deeper Kings roster than in past seasons, there is healthy competition for playing time and Groenewegen believes that Queiroz made the most of his minutes. "At this level, everyone is fighting for some game time. Every day we don't dress two guys and there are seven on the bench that may or may not get into the game," explains Groenewegen. "Andre really committed himself this week to what we asked him to do, and he just came out and did it today. We want to see that from every player. He got his opportunity and took it today. He got that goal early in the game - the second one that really got us going. He was rock solid on the left-side all game, drew free-kick after free-kick. It was good on him."
The Kings (2 - 1 - 1) will host the Lethbridge College Kodiaks (2 - 1 - 1), Sunday, at 2:00 p.m. at the RDC Main Field. Both squads are tied for second in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men's Soccer South Division.