Brent Forster - RDC
Red Deer, AB – The execution took some time to click for the Red Deer College Kings, but once they got rolling against the visiting Ambrose University Lions, they couldn't be stopped. After a scoreless 45 minutes, the Kings elevated their play in the second half, scoring a trio of goals and finalizing a 3-0 home decision.
The RDC Kings had several opportunities in the first half but they couldn't capitalize. Lions goalkeeper Matthew Stacey was busy.
"We had some great opportunities that we just didn't finish, from guys who 99 per cent of the time finish in those positions. We could have been up three or four in the first half, but we weren't. When you leave a team in, they fight and stay hungry, and that's what Ambrose did," says Kings Head Coach Wade Groenewegen.
"We had a couple moments today that we really should have taken advantage of. That's the whole thing about soccer, you spend the whole game building up to moments."
The Kings created several positive moments in the second half. They put their foot on the gas and it eventually paid off. In the 63rd minute, RDC Bachelor of Science student Nathan Swartz was well-positioned in front and broke the scoreless deadlock. Third-year Kings defender Matthew Elphick had the lone assist.
Twelve minutes later, Pedro Humberto Mourao Neto scored back-to-back markers for RDC. Nathan Swartz set up the Kings' second tally. Matthew Hamonic created the third goal with some creative offensive play.
"Give Ambrose credit, they worked really hard," says Groenewegen. "Not our prettiest one but once they started coming, they did come."
Kings goalkeeper Jacob Hamilton made three saves. Matthew Stacey stopped 16 of 19 shots.
Red Deer's Kristofer Grobmeier was named the Collegiate Sports Medicine Kings Player-of-the-Game. Calgary's Matthew Stacey was selected for the Lions.
Stacey and Grobmeier
"Kris was so strong coming through the middle of the back today," says Groenewegen. "I don't know how many passes he cut off."
With the Kings' fourth consecutive victory (6-1-1), they share top spot in the south with the Lethbridge College Kodiaks (6-1-1). Both teams have 19 points.
Groenewegen thinks the Kings have performed well over eight games, but can fine tune a few areas. "We always want something to be better at the end of each performance. We are at that point where we turned the corner," he says. "We have four tough games left against tough teams and if we do well, we will be in a really good spot. We set ourselves up well through the first two-thirds of the season."
On Sunday, Oct. 13, the RDC Kings will travel to Olds and face the Broncos (3-5-0) at 2:00 p.m. in a Women's Cancer Awareness Game. Then the Kings will close out the season against the Trojans, Kodiaks and Rattlers, who all sit in the upper half of the south standings.