Brent Forster - RDC
The Red Deer College Kings Soccer team showed some positive aspects of their game early in the season but were still looking for their first points in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men's Soccer standings. Saturday, the Kings played host to the Olds College Broncos in their first game of the young season at the RDC Field. The game went back-and-forth and with time winding down the Kings dramatically scored to seal the 2-1 victory.
Talon Grenier was the starting goalkeeper for the Kings while Julio Cesar Meirelles was at the opposite end of the field for the Broncos.
The opening half was evenly played and both goalkeepers were perfect as the teams went into the half.
In the 2nd half, the Kings opened the scoring off a penalty kick in the 49th minute. Theoren Gill beat Meirelles to put the RDC Kings up 1-0. Minutes later, Bryce Vleeming had a great opportunity to extend the Kings' lead but shot just wide to the right of the Broncos' goal.
Daniel Ribeiro de Abreu, from Olds College, eventually tied the game 1-1 in the 86th minute on a free kick inside the box, but Grenier didn't allow another shot get past him.
As the 2nd half progressed, the Broncos had a partial breakway but Grenier challenged the shooter and made the stop. With time winding down in the 90th minute, Hugo Janssen raced up the left side and sent a high shot arcing over Meirelles into the right side of the net. The jubilant Kings congratulated Janssen on the goal and hard-working play.
Kings Soccer Head Coach Wade Groenewegen liked the increased pace and the exciting victory. "I 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," laughed Groenewegen. "Our speed of play is coming. We have to continue to play at a higher pace. We want to make the same good decisions, but faster and more of them. That's coming. We are seeing more in the game of what we are seeing in training."
Groenewegen was happy with the team's resiliency and the great effort from Janssen to score the winning goal. "A credit goes to the guys that they dug out the win. Hugo's goal was movie worthy. It was a great run down the side," said Groenewegen. "We really missed Hugo last weekend when he had an ankle injury. We thought about pulling him out of the game at points today but he wanted to hang in there. It's a credit to him and we're sure glad he decided to stay in the game."
If Janssen had any lingering effects from a wonky ankle, it certainly wasn't apparent from his play. Janssen was the Kings player-of-the-game while Nicholas Depot received the award for the Broncos. Janssen appreciated the RDC Kings showing persistence in the win. "In the final minute we were going for it. The ball was far ahead, I outmuscled their player and took my chance and scored," said Janssen. "I saw Bryce (Vleeming) to the right and their goalkeeper came out. I was fortunate to put it in the net. I thought there were maybe 2 or 3 minutes left and when my shot went in, I was really hyped."
Janssen identified the Kings play to the outside as a key to the win along with a no-quit attitude. "We played wide today which really helped. Whenever we were in the middle and sent it wide there was a lot of space there. That's when most of our chances came," said Janssen. "Once they tied it we didn't quit and knew that we deserved to win. We kept at it and picked up the win."
Grenier was strong in net for the Kings and stopped 4-of-5 shots while Meirelles stopped 3-of-5 for the Broncos.
The RDC Kings (1-2-0) will host the SAIT Trojans (2-0-0) on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. at the RDC Field.