After a strong step forward and a playoff appearance last year, the RDC Queens are hungry for more in 2019.
They will kick off the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season in Medicine Hat Saturday, before a trip to take on the Lethbridge College Kodiaks Sunday.
The Queens finished last season with an 8-2-2 record and ended up second in the ACAC South Division. They were ousted by the Concordia University of Edmonton University Thunder in the opening game of the playoffs.
“I think the ladies learned from our quarter-final game against Concordia last year, and they are more aware going into this season,” said Queens head coach Esad Elkaz.
“Our plan from day one is to get better every year and we are taking steps.”
RDC is returning 11 players from last season, including 2018-19 all-conference team member Mikayla Fujimoto. Alethea Riemer is back in net, along with Lexi Kowalchuk, Rebecca McBride, Kayla Nesseth and Bronwyn Pfeifle on defence.
Pfeifle and second-year forward Emily Ricard will serve as captains for the Queens this season.
Still, there will be a few holes for the Queens to fill, even with the deep returning class. Standout goalkeeper Erin Gill has moved on, as well as Teryn Wright. Riley DeRaaf is the new Queens second netminder.
Midfielder Abby Grobmeier is a Red Deer product who transferred to RDC from Olds College. Sarah Donald of Rocky Mountain House is also a newcomer at midfield for RDC. Stettler product Alisha Coules is back for her second season at forward, along with Bailey Richarde and first year Brooklyn Riopel.
“I’m very excited about all of the players on the roster,” said Elkaz. “This year, we are deep in every position–from the defence, to the midfield to the forwards. I think everything is coming together.”
The Queens will host their home opener on Sept. 13 at 2 p.m. against the Olds College Broncos at the RDC Main Field.
(With files from RDC Athletics)