Brent Forster - RDC
Red Deer – The Red Deer College Kings and Lethbridge College Kodiaks were tied in the standings entering Sunday's game, but after 90 minutes the Kings found themselves on the positive side of a 3 - 2 decision and jumped over the Kodiaks in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men's Soccer South Division.
After a defensive and scoreless first half, Bachelor of Education Elementary student Theoren Gill gave the Kings an important 1 - 0 edge with a long strike from the right side in the 50th minute. The Kodiaks responded 14 minutes later when Wilson Ntignee scored on a penalty shot to even the contest 1 - 1.
The final 11 minutes featured three more goals. RDC's Gabriel Fleury de Queiroz connected in the 79th minute and Colin Purnell added a beautiful goal off a free kick in the 84th minute for a 3 - 1 cushion. Purnell's laser turned out to be the game winning goal as Ntignee added his second of the game to pull Lethbridge College within one (3 - 2) in the 87th minute. The Kings held the Kodiaks' attack at bay the remainder of the game and earned a crucial 3 - 2 home decision. With the victory, the Kings share second place with the Medicine Hat College Rattlers, who have played one more game than RDC. Both teams have 10 points. The SAIT Trojans (5 - 0 - 0) lead the South Division with 15 points. Lethbridge College and Olds College are tied for third with 7 points.
Despite some dangerous offensive weapons for Lethbridge College, Kings Soccer Head Coach Wade Groenewegen respected the RDC Kings' ability to limit the Kodiaks' high quality scoring chances. "Lethbridge has a couple of serious attacking players who I think we handled overall quite well, even though Wilson did score two - one on the penalty," says Groenewegen. "I thought that we took care of him pretty good today but the Kodiaks have quite a bit going forward to deal with."
The win for the Red Deer College Kings was a big one in the standings. "The whole weekend, but especially today, the win separates us a bit from the group," says Groenewegen. "Hopefully, over the next several weeks we can put some more results together. It was a big win today against one team who we want to separate ourselves from."
Gabriel Fleury de Queiroz was named the Player-of-the-Game for the Kings. Wilson Ntignee received the award for the Kodiaks.
Ntignee and Queiroz
Groenewegen was pleased with a strong effort from Queiroz and the precision of Purnell's winning goal. "Gabriel has been setting guys up all week and doing a lot of the work away from the ball that makes things happen. He had a big goal when we needed one," says Groenewegen. "Of course, Colin Purnell had a great goal on the free kick too at the end. That was just textbook and a goal in any league."
Purnell, a first-year Justice Studies student from Calgary, saw the Kings effectively transfer their training to the game. "I think that we hit the corners well today, which we've been practicing. We are getting crosses in and guys in the middle," says Purnell. "It's important that we keep hitting our corners. It's crucial for our attack and we get the majority of our goals from there. Also, it's important to keep having our solid defence, which we've had all season."
At 6:00 p.m., Friday, September 28, the second place RDC Kings (3 - 1 - 1) will compete against the Ambrose University Lions (0 - 3 - 1) in Calgary. Then at the RDC Main Field, the Kings will face the Lakeland College Rustlers (0 - 3 - 1), Sunday, September 30, at 2:00 p.m.