The RDC Queens went into the weekend at home with everything set up for them to finish first in the Alberta Colleges Women’s Soccer League South Division.
All they needed was to beat the Medicine Hat Rattlers Saturday and the Lethbridge Kodiaks Sunday. And with 10 minutes remaining Saturday it appeared as if the Queens were well on their way to just such a scenario. But the Rattlers scored late to earn a 2-2 tie, which left the Queens needing a win over Lethbridge and some help from the Lakeland Rustlers Sunday.
When the Rattlers edged Lakeland 1-0, the Queens, who posted a 6-0 win over Lethbridge, finished two points back of Medicine Hat and will have to play in the league’s quarter-finals at Grant MacEwan Friday.
“We had them with 10 minutes to go,” said Queens head coach Dave Colley. “We had it in our hands. That was the biggest game of the season and we had our chances, but got caught out, plus missed a handful of scoring opportunities. In the end we played much better than we did today, but it was our fault for not clearing the ball and not finishing.”
Colley felt his troops could have played better against the last-place Kodiaks.
“We were punished by our mistakes Saturday and weren’t today,” he said. “Scoring six goals a coach should be pleased, but we made some mental mistakes, which are never excusable.”
Still Colley got three goals from first-year players — Alana Rehman, Teagan Donald and Tatiana Aspilaga — and one from fourth-year midfielder Brianne Boychuk. Veteran Claire Wallace scored twice while Jesse Stewart recorded her eighth shutout in 10 games, lowering her goals-against-average to 0.40.
The Queens will face Grande Prairie in the quarter-finals while NAIT clashes with SAIT. Concordia University College and Medicine Hat receive a bye into the semifinals, who go Saturday. The final is Sunday.
Meanwhile, the RDC Kings turned in a pair of solid performance, beating both Medicine Hat and Lethbridge 3-1, to finish second in the south, back of SAIT and ahead of Lakeland.
“I’m delighted,” said Kings head coach Steve Fullarton, who will host the ACAC finals beginning Friday. “We went into the season with the idea of earning a right to play in the provincials and we finished second, and were well deserving.”
The Kings are undefeated in eight straight games and will host Grande Prairie Friday at 2:20 p.m. Lakeland takes on Concordia at noon in the other quarter-final.
Fullarton was pleased especially with the win Sunday.
“Yesterday against Medicine Hat, we didn’t play that well. Our ball retention wasn’t what it should have been. We gave the ball away more than we should have and it will have to be better next week.”
It was on Sunday.
“I was pleased with the guys. We sat out several players who have injuries and yellow cards so they’ll be available for the playoffs and our subs did a great job.”
Captain Greg Reddekopp, Jeremy Gopal, Cale Jacobs and Tylor Johnson scored for RDC against Lethbridge with keeper Stefan Dugas, who made a pair of outstanding saves late, recording the win.
Nolan Hamilton had a pair of goals and Evan Forrester one against the Hat.