Queens Soccer 2018 - 19 season preview

With a fast and deep roster, the RDC Queens are ready to kick off the 2018 - 19 season. Photo - Tony Hansen
With a fast and deep roster, the RDC Queens are ready to kick off the 2018 - 19 season. Photo - Tony Hansen

2017 – 18 Review

Regular Season       

The RDC Queens (3-4-3) placed fourth in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women's Soccer South Division and missed the playoffs.

 

2017 - 18 Awards

ACAC Women's Soccer South All-Conference team – Reesa Garez (forward), Chelsea Webster (defence) and Krysten Strand (defence)

RDC Athletics Awards Night

Coach's Award – Reesa Garez

Most Improved Player – Nicole Phillips

Rookie of the Year – Erin Gill

Most Valuable Player – Krysten Strand

 

2018 – 19 Preview

Second-year Head Coach of the Queens, Esad Elkaz, is optimistic about the upcoming Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women's Soccer season. "This year looks very promising for our team but we will take it one game at a time," says Elkaz.

Assistant Coaches - Deanne Good, Katrina Rennie, Randy Pfeifle

 

Returning Players

Goalkeeper – Erin Gill

Defence – Jaden Humphrey, Bronwyn Pfeifle, Natasha Saleem

Midfielders – Kayla Yeo, Teryn Wright

Forwards – Haley Nassichuk-Dean

"Our returning student-athletes are all good players and great leaders," says Elkaz. "They bring so many positive aspects to the team this year."

Bronwyn Pfeifle, a second-year defender from Lacombe, likes the makeup of the Queens this season including the comradery. "We are a fast paced team and everyone has fast feet," says Pfeifle. "We seem to think one step ahead which will be a big advantage. Everyone had a connection right away and we do things together off the field as well."

 

New Players

Goalkeeper - Alethea Riemer

Defence - Kayla Nesseth, Rebecca McBride, Abbi Galloway, Lexi Kowalchuk

Midfielders - Natalie Frenette, Taylor Pankiw, Mikayla Fujimoto, Emily Richard, Ashley Thomson

Forwards - Alisha Coules, Emilee Kronbauer

"All of the new players are well trained and have played in the competitive stream from U12 to U18," says Elkaz. "The student-athletes who join us from central Alberta have had some of the best coaches Red Deer has to offer, and it is a huge benefit for me to know many of these players before. We don't have to spend time concentrating on the basics and I believe that will put us one step ahead."

 

Not Returning

Kayla Kaip, Krysten Strand, Chelsea Webster, Nicole Phillips, Malinka Voytechek, Alexandra Murphy, Reesa Garez, Corrin Graham, Adama Soumah  

2017-18 ACAC Women's Soccer South All-Conference team selections Reesa Garez, Chelsea Webster and Krysten Strand are significant departures but a deeper roster could help the RDC Queens experience a more successful season. This season, 19 talented student-athletes will comprise the Queens roster compared to 16 last year. "I learned a lot from last season and it hurt not having enough players on the roster," says Elkaz. "In an exhibition game against Augustana last year, I lost Haley Nassichuk-Dean, my only striker. Suddenly we were focused more on defending than attacking because we didn't have much on offence, but this year that has changed a lot with our additions."

 

Third-year defender Jaden Humphrey, a Bachelor of Education Elementary student, has already seen a lot of confidence in each other which will be important moving forward. "Our ability to trust each other will be a key to our success this year," says Humphrey. "If one person in our starting lineup gets hurt we don't have to worry about who we are putting in to sub, and we can see that trust when we're practicing."

As the Queens Soccer program grows, Elkaz is receiving interest from several prominent players around Alberta. "Last year, I built a team looking for quick success but I want to build a program and we are headed in the right direction. We are getting phone calls from Calgary and Edmonton from players who want to come to RDC," says Elkaz. "Natalie Frenette was born in Red Deer and played in the Renegades program. She attended MacEwan University last year but wanted to come back home and we welcomed her with open arms. Emilee Kronbauer will join us this season from Keyano College and her training and work ethic is impressive. She was a first-year captain in Fort McMurray which is quite an accomplishment."

The speed, talent and depth of the Queens have already been evident. In five non-conference games, the RDC Queens earned a 4-1 record. They defeated The King's University Eagles 3-1, cruised past the University of Alberta Augustana Vikings 5-0, blanked the Keyano College Huskies 3-0, earned a 3-1 victory over the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves and dropped a 3-0 decision to the Concordia Thunder.

The RDC Queens will begin the regular season at home on Saturday, September 8 at 12:00 p.m. against the Ambrose University Lions.