RDC Kings rookie Nathan Swartz scored the Kings only goal in regulation as they needed penalty kicks to win Wednesday Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Soccer National Championship Wednesday in Oshawa, Ont. (Photo courtesy of Al Fournier/CCAA)

RDC Kings soccer win in penalty kicks, advance to national semis

The RDC Kings are getting pretty good at this penalty kicks thing.

On their way to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Soccer Championship, the Kings needed penalty kicks to knock off the powerhouse SAIT Trojans in the provincial semifinal. Keeper Jacob Hamilton of Lacombe made the one save his team needed that day, and he summoned that magic once more Wednesday.

In the opener at nationals, the Kings battled to a 1-1 draw through 90 minutes with the Holland College Hurricanes of P.E.I. The game went straight to penalty kicks and Hamilton made a crucial stop on the Hurricanes fourth shooter.

“I thought there were some kicks earlier that were easier for him to get but all you gotta do is make one and clearly, on a day like today, then we’re good. He chose the hardest one,” said Kings head coach Wade Groenewegen.

All five Kings found the back of the net, including Gabriel Fonseca to clinch the victory on the final shot.

“I don’t remember my whole coaching career, ever picking all five shooters to score and here we’ve done it twice in a row,” Groenewegen said.

“You look at any level, it just doesn’t happen that often. I don’t know if we’re going to practice any more penalty kicks.”

The win pushed the Kings into the national semifinal and guarantees they will at least play for a medal.

Holland opened the contest Wednesday with a goal on their first shot in the 16th minute.

It took the Kings until after half to bounce back when rookie Nathan Swartz of Lacombe scored in the 56th minute to tie the game. Groenewegen said his group had a bit of a slow start, but even going into the half were confident that they could find a way to tie the game.

“For 25 minutes of the second half, we were really having our way. Who knows, maybe they had instructions to drop off,” said

Some drama came late when it appeared the Hurricanes had pulled ahead in the 88th minute on a redirected free-kick. The play was quickly called offside and after a few minutes of injury time, the game went to penalty kicks.

The Kings will play the winner of the host Durham College Lords and Douglas College Royals on Thursday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. You can watch all the live action at www.portal.stretchinternet.com/ccaasportsacsc/

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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