Coming out of Lindsay Thurber High School Kaitlin D’Arcy was a perfect addition to the RDC Queens soccer team.
Not only did she have the talent to play at the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference level, but she could play a number of positions.
“I played forward when I was younger then played three or four years in goal,” explained the 20-year-old, who is in her third season with the Queens. “Once I got to the college I played left midfield and been there ever since.”
D’Arcy would be the Queens backup keeper to Lauren Good, the only netminder on the roster. Last season Good received a suspension for throwing a punch after being kicked by a player from Olds.
“I guess I would be the backup … hopefully there’s no punches,” D’Arcy said with a laugh.
“But really I enjoy playing the midfield. It allows me to run up and down the field and use my speed.”
She is also utilized as an outlet for the RDC defenders.
“We have such a good defence and they do a good job of moving the ball and I’m used more as an outlet when moving the ball up. It’s my job to see where I think the ball should go and move it up.”
D’Arcy does have three goals in seven games this season, the same as last year, but she sees herself more of an assist player.
“It feels good to put one in the back of the net, but it feels just as good to assist on a goal,” she said. “It’s good to have Sydney (Daines) and Kelsey (Caine) in front of me to get the ball to.”
Daines leads the team with seven goals in seven games while Caine has four goals.
At times this season the opposition has put two or even three players on Daines to shut her down, especially with defending team scoring leader Jessica Whyte still out with a knee injury.
“That’s tough on Sydney, but we have a lot more depth this season … we have seven players who have scored, which helps a lot. We don’t just count on one or two players, that’s a big deal.”
D’Arcy also takes all the corner kicks, something she’s done since arriving at RDC.
“I enjoy that and having the experience helps.”
D’Arcy was born in Saskatchewan, moved to Calgary when she was five and to Red Deer when she was 13 and in Grade 8. She started playing soccer when she was six.
“My parents put me into soccer and I just kept at it … it’s been good.”
D’Arcy is one of the leaders on the Queens, who have a 5-0-1 record and sit first in the ACAC’s South Division.
“I started my first two years here and while I haven’t started in every game this year, because we have more depth and room to make some moves, I enjoy the leadership role, even when I’m on the sidelines. I can see what’s going on and help that way. I know what to expect from the other teams.”
That experience has been major as the Queens have scored 21 goals on the season and allowed just three. All three goals came in two games with Good leading the South Division and the ACAC with five shutouts and a 0.43 goals-against-average.
“Our defence has been strong and we have so much confidence in Lauren. We know when the ball goes back there she will take care of it.. Plus her communication is great.”
The Queens have three games remaining on the regular season as they visit Lakeland in Lloydminster Saturday and host Medicine Hat and Lethbridge Oct. 24 and 25. They sit six points up on Medicine Hat, who has a game in hand.
Finishing first in the South is the team’s goal as they look for a bye into the ACAC semifinals.
D’Arcy believes the team has the depth and experience to challenge for an ACAC title.
“You could see us coming along over the last couple of years,” she said. “We didn’t have the depth before to make a serious run, but this year, and next, we should for sure.”
D’Arcy, who is taking Education, will be at RDC for the next two years, something that has to please the coaching staff.
The Kings go into the weekend in fourth place, at 3-4-0 just behind Lakeland, 4-3-0. They need to win this weekend and one of their final two homes games to have a chance to make the playoffs.