The Red Deer College Kings’ soccer team split their first two home games this season, bringing their overall record to 1-3-0 on the season.
Last Saturday, the Kings dropped a 2-1 decision over the visiting Olds College Broncos. The Kings goals came from Theoren Gill and Hugo Janssen, with Janssen’s goal being the game winning in the 90th minute of the game.
Coach Wade Groenewegen said that he, “Could live with the win being a little less dramatic but we needed it. The game was exciting, but not great for a coach’s heart.”
The Kings followed up their home opening win with a tough 2-0 loss to the visiting SAIT Trojans. The Kings challenged hard in the first half, but were unable to keep up the pace in the second half against the veteran Trojans.
“We actually did exactly what we set out to do,” Groenewegen said. “They are a much older, more experienced team then us. We executed perfectly throughout the first half. That is the way we drew it up. We knew we needed to hang on and it was unfortunate we couldn’t bury one when we had a really good chance.”
Freshmen Kings’ player Kyle Bett saw the effort against the Trojans.
“We held them down quite well in the first half – the second half not so much,” he said. “We ended up getting that red card which set us back. We ended up fighting back and kept it to two. I think we played a pretty good game today.”
Groenewegen emphasized the effort was there for the Kings, who are featuring several freshmen players.
“We definitely needed a result this weekend,” he said. “We wanted to hang on a little more, but our level is rising. Fortunately, the teams we lost to the first weekend, we get at home later in the season. If we can continue to raise our game, we aren’t as far out of it as the standings will show after this weekend.”
Bett believes the Kings will improve as they get more comfortable on the field together.
“We came together as a team a lot more then we did at the start,” he said. “We are understanding each other’s play and fitting together quite well.”
The Queens, who also had their first home stand this weekend, managed to grab a 2-2 against the Broncos and a 1-0 loss to the Trojans, bringing their overall record to 0-1-3.
Corrinn Graham and Reesa Garez grabbed the Queens’ goals against Olds.
The Trojan game was a difficult outing for the Queens, who according to fifth year player Chelsea Webster, had their chances.
“I think our effort was there today, we just have to finish. We will be working on that a lot in practice,” she said. “We couldn’t really catch a break, which was really frustrating. We stayed positive and that is all you can really do.”
Coach Esad Elkaz agreed with his veteran.
“It was one of those games where the ball didn’t want to go in the net,” he said. “We created five or six 100 per cent chances. The ball just wouldn’t go in. We are going to have to work hard in training to fix those problems.”
The Queens are playing several first year players, meaning finishing games is a work in progress.
“We have a lot of first-years,” Elkaz said. “We have about 10 and it is very to neat to see the older players like Krysten Strand and Chelsea Webster help them out. They have really improved game to game.”
Webster added, “It is about setting the tone. They are new players and don’t really know what to expect. Hyping them up is important and letting them know that a lot rides on every single game.
“I think we have a really good chance. The south division is a very competitive league and the point ratio is small. We have a lot of time to turn it around. It will come in the second half of the season.