Brent Forster - RDC
It was a beautiful fall day as the Red Deer College Queens Soccer team hosted the Lethbridge College Kodiaks on Sunday afternoon in their final home game of the season. There were several shifts in zone play in the opening half, but the Queens grabbed a 1-0 lead. In the second half, the teams played sound defensively and scoring opportunities were limited. The RDC Queens picked up a 1-0 home victory.
Erin Gill was the starting goalkeeper for the RDC Queens while Brittany Klein was in net for the Kodiaks. Momentum swung back and forth in the first half, and in the 33rd minute Krysten Strand scored from just in front of the crease to give the Queens a 1-0 lead.
While the second half was more cautious, the Queens pressed to score late from in close but Klein made a great save. Time expired, and the RDC Queens found themselves on the positive side of a 1-0 decision.
Queens Soccer Head Coach Esad Elkaz liked what he saw Sunday afternoon especially from a graduating student-athlete. "I saw a lot of passion, hard work and commitment. Yesterday the game could have gone either way but we couldn't capitalize," said Elkaz. "Today, Krysten Strand really stepped up and I moved her up front. We found that spark and she scored a beautiful goal."
Fifth-year student-athletes, Chelsea Webster and Krysten Strand are graduating from the RDC Queens Soccer program. "It's nice to see Krysten score in her final home game. I'm really happy for Krysten and Chelsea. We will miss them for sure," said Elkaz. "Reesa Garez and Corrinn Graham will step into their shoes as leaders."
Chelsea Webster fondly reflected on her final game on the RDC Field and time at Red Deer College. "It is nice to go out with a win in my final home game. I've learned a lot in my time here. It was nice to finalize the season with these ladies," said Webster. "We didn't come through this season but we tried our hearts out. Improvement was made in the second half of the season. We played a full 90 minutes and put our hearts and souls into every game."
Elkaz is optimistic about next season and despite having a desire to win, he wants the Queens to have fun on the pitch. "The players respond differently to pressure and I want the student-athletes to just go out and play, and not focus only on the score," said Elkaz. "I want the players to enjoy soccer."
Erin Gill earned the shutout and was named the Queens player-of-the-game. Sydney Hope received the honour for the Lethbridge Kodiaks. Malinka Voytechek and Nicole Phillips will be transferring to the University of Lethbridge next season. Kayla Kaip will be moving to England to play soccer.
The RDC Queens (2-4-3) will face the Lakeland College Rustlers (0-9-0) on Saturday, October 21 at 2:00 p.m. on the road. This will be the final conference game for the Queens.