RDC Kings rookie Nathan Swartz connects for his seventh goal of the ACAC season in a 2-0 victory over the Medicine Hat College Rattlers Sunday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

RDC Kings soccer clinch playoff spot on final day of ACAC season

Kings play Concordia University of Edmonton on Oct. 25 in ACAC Championships

It was a win and you’re in kind of weekend for the RDC Kings.

RDC needed one win this weekend to guarantee a berth in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Championships and after a nil-nil draw Saturday, they clinched a playoff spot Sunday.

The Kings got goals from Nathan Swartz and Turner Johnson, along with a shutout by keeper Jacob Hamilton as they topped the Medicine Hat College Rattlers 2-0 in the ACAC season finale at RDC.

“Both games this weekend, we really had buy-in from everyone and that’s the difference,” said Kings head coach Wade Groenewegen.

“Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve had pockets working well and guys checking out at certain moments. We didn’t have any of that this weekend. This is the level we need to be at if we want to play more than one game (next weekend) and that’s where we’re at now. Every game we play, if we win, we get to keep playing.”

Johnson, a second-year defender notched his second goal of the year in the 50th minute. From there, the Kings refused to sit back and were rewarded for their aggressive play in the 71st minute, when rookie Nathan Swartz converted his team-leading seventh goal.

“This is a team that really launches a lot of long balls. They’re looking for that one in some many chances to work. You just don’t want to give them that many more opportunities,” Groenewegen said.

“So sitting back and letting them launch balls just plays into their style. We definitely wanted to make sure we had our foot going forward.”

Hamilton, the third-year keeper from Lacombe was the Kings player of the game and will move onto to Vancouver Island University next year. Groenewegen said the POG could have gone to any number of players in the victory.

“Jake has been one of our best players a lot of games and he got the shutout, but really we thought that was a team best player. We could have picked any one of the 13 guys that went on the field,” Groenewegen said.

Defender Kyle Bett, Hugo Janssen and Matthew Elphick are all also moving on next season. Groenewegen said that each played integral over their time at RDC and were the heartbeat of the group.

” All four of those guys are core guys. We’re not going to replace them… they’re part of the backbone of this team,” he said.

The win Sunday pushed the Kings into third in the ACAC South and they will play the Concordia-University of Edmonton Thunder in the opener game of the ACAC Championships on Oct. 25. Last season the Kings also finished third in the south and lost to the Thunder in the first round of the playoffs.

Groenewegen added the mentality is simple this time around.

“Each game as it comes right? We’ll do everything we can to win that one game and hopefully we get another,” he said.



Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ecologist Tony Blake was among several dozen area residents who participated in Tuesday’s public hearing on the future Molly Banister Drive extension. Blake argued for preserving trail connectedness and the wildlife corridor. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Molly Banister road extension stays

A nearly nine-hour public hearing ends with a 5-3 vote for keeping the road alignment

A server wears a mask at a restaurant, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Health officials receive thousands of COVID-related complaints

About 800 to 1,000 people call health officials weekly

Shaun Janse van Rensburg, a Red Deer resident, said he is tired of changing clocks twice a year. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff
After COVID, Kenney may consider referendum on daylight savings

Albertans may be divided on several issues today, but there’s a consensus… Continue reading

The COVID-19 death toll in Alberta reached 309, according to numbers posted on the province’s website Tuesday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Another 422 COVID cases reported in Alberta and two more deaths

The Alberta government reported 422 COVID-19 cases Tuesday and two more virus… Continue reading

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
COVID-19 death toll verges on 10,000 as second wave continues to surge

Nearly 10,000 Canadians have died due to COVID-19, a mark of the… Continue reading

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts celebrates after a home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the eighth inning in Game 6 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Best Betts: Dodgers win first World Series title since 1988

Best Betts: Dodgers win first World Series title since 1988

Wade Sira is shown in a handout photo. Sira, the leader of Saskatchewan's pro-independence Buffalo Party, says he's extremely happy with last night's provincial election results, even though no candidates clinched a seat.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Wade Sira MANDATORY CREDIT
Buffalo Party’s strong showing in Saskatchewan vote a warning to Moe: experts

Buffalo Party’s strong showing in Saskatchewan vote a warning to Moe: experts

FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2019, file photo, Christian Coleman, of the United States, celebrates after crossing the line to win the gold medal in men's 100 meter final at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. (AP Photo/Nick Didlick)
World champion Coleman banned 2 yrs; to miss Tokyo Olympics

World champion Coleman banned 2 yrs; to miss Tokyo Olympics

Saskatchewan Roughriders kicker Brett Lauther returns to the sideline after missing his fourth field goal attempt during second half CFL action against the Edmonton Eskimos, in Regina, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.  It's been a very difficult year for a number of kickers this year in the NFL, but CFL veteran Lauther continues to wait for his opportunity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor
Former Riders kicker Brett Lauther patiently awaiting opportunity to kick in the NFL

Former Riders kicker Brett Lauther patiently awaiting opportunity to kick in the NFL

Nashville SC midfielder Randall Leal, left, is congratulated by Alex Muyl after scoring a goal during the first half of the team's MLS soccer match against the Montreal Impact, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Harrison, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Willis gets MLS-leading 9th shutout, Nashville tops Montreal

Willis gets MLS-leading 9th shutout, Nashville tops Montreal

Kansas City mayor, star quarterback want Raptors to make Missouri temporary home

Kansas City mayor, star quarterback want Raptors to make Missouri temporary home

Djokovic, Thiem advance after slow starts in Vienna openers

Djokovic, Thiem advance after slow starts in Vienna openers

Most Read