Swartz pushes Kings past Kodiaks with late heroics

Nathan Swartz scored the game-winning-goal and added an assist in a hard fought road game in Lethbridge.
Nathan Swartz scored the game-winning-goal and added an assist in a hard fought road game in Lethbridge.

Brent Forster - RDC with information from Kodiaks Athletics

Lethbridge, AB - The RDC Kings and Lethbridge College Kodiaks were even in the latter stages of the second half until Nathan Swartz, one of RDC's talented first-year midfielders, had other plans. The Bachelor of Science student from Lacombe struck in the 77th minute, helping the visiting Kings drop the Kodiaks 3-2. 

The home team had one of the better opportunities early. Kodiaks midfielder Ben Knight created a counterattack on the left wing where he crossed the ball to teammate Jimmy Bukuru. Bukuru had a point blank shot, but Kings goalkeeper Jacob Hamilton dove to the right side and swatted the ball away. 

Lethbridge College eventually broke the scoreless deadlock. In the 24th minute, the Kodiaks Ben Knight found teammate Sodiq Adekunle all alone, and he buried his shot to the left side of Hamilton for a 1-0 edge. Then the Kings responded with a late first half goal when defenders Turner Johnson and Kyle Bett  set up Matthew Elphick. Calgary's Elphick received the cross from Bett and quickly released his shot. Kodiaks goalkeeper Cody Ferguson thought he saved it, but the ball rolled over his hands into the net in the 41st minute. The 1-1 tie remained until halftime. 

In the second half, the Kings came out on a mission. They dominated the Kodiaks defence and the pressure paid dividends. In the 50th minute, Nathan Swartz set up Lacombe's Hugo Janssen who was by himself in front. Janssen connected to the left side of the net, giving RDC a 2-1 lead. 

The Lethbridge College Kodiaks weren't finished and they knotted the contest 2-2 in the 73rd minute. Sodiq Adekunle crossed the ball to teammate Ben Knight who buried the tying goal with a low shot to the right side of the net. The Kodiaks tried to continue that momentum, but the Red Deer Kings went ahead in the 77th minute. In dramatic fashion, Red Deer's Rhys Groenewegen crossed the ball into the middle of the box and teammate Nathan Swartz buried the header to give the Red Deer Kings a hard fought 3-2 win. 

Rhys Groenewegen

Kings goalkeeper Jacob Hamilton made eight saves in the road win. Kodiaks keeper Cody Ferguson stopped five attempts. 

Kyle Bett, a third-year defender, was selected as the Kings Player-of-the-Game. Joel Arrius was named the top player for the Kodiaks. 

Kyle Bett

With the victory, the Kings earned four of a possible six points on a challenging two-game road trip. 

On Friday, October 13, the RDC Kings (1-0-1) will host the Olds College Broncos (1-1-0) at 4:00 p.m. at RDC Main Field. Then on Sunday, October 15, the Kings will face the SAIT Trojans (1-0-0) in Red Deer at 2:00 p.m.