Queens 5 Eagles 2
Dave Colley was pleased to see his RDC Queens players adopt a selfish attitude Monday while posting a 5-2 ACAC women’s preseason soccer victory over the visiting Edmonton King’s University College Eagles.
“Five goals was nice. A couple of them I don’t think we’d get again. Their goalie made some errors but the fact that we were shooting is really nice,” said Colley, the Queens head coach.
“Usually we try and pass it in those areas instead of shoot, but they were connecting well for the five goals. They were hard goals, but later in the season the (opposing) goalie might have snagged them. But the fact is we are shooting and that’s good because that’s one of the issues we have year to year — the players pass it off rather than shoot. I’m happy they’re shooting.”
Finding the back of the Eagles net were Kelsie Caine, Nicole Friedl, Kassidy Lefteruk, Olivia Orman and Sydney Daines. Lauren Good guarded the RDC goal.
Good is one of three players Colley didn’t expect back this season, the others being Kaitlin D’Arcy and 2014 all-star Jessica White.
“They finished their courses and got to a stage where they were moving on,” said Colley. “But they went to move on and found that things didn’t work out, so they came back. They’re third- and fifth-year players. You’re going to take them any time.”
While Colley enjoyed the view Monday, he won’t be setting the roster until just before the start of the regular season, which opens Sept. 12 with the Queens hosting Olds College.
“We were throwing people on today to see what they could do at different positions,” said Colley. “I think Kelsie Caine played in about four different positions in different parts of the field. The midfielders all got a chance to play defensive, central and offensive mid. I was just spinning them around.”
The Queens are a veteran group with a sprinkling of rookies, including former Red Deer U18 Renegades captain Friedl.
“Some of the other rookies are from small areas, but they are good athletes and none of them are lacking in experience,” said Colley.
The Queens finished second in the South Division last season, then dropped a quarter-final to Grande Prairie on penalty kicks.
Colley expects his club to be back in the hunt this year.
“The potential definitely is there, especially when I had a player like Jess White sitting down today because she has a knee problem,” said the coach. “When everybody gets fit, I think we’re going to be strong.”
The Queen will be in Camrose this weekend for a pair of preseason ACAC games and will host a top-flight Calgary U18 team either Wednesday or Thursday of next week.
Kings 4 Eagles 1
RDC Kings coach Steve Fullarton wasn’t as concerned with the outcome of Monday’s exhibition match versus King’s as he was with getting his rookies into the action and into early-season game shape.
“We have a lot of new players this year so it was nice to get them involved,” said Fullarton, following the Kings’ 4-1 victory over the Eagles in men’s play. “Match fitness is the big thing at this time of the year. There’s a big difference between physical and match fitness, so that was the main objective tonight.
“To win and to score four goals is always nice, but we did ride our luck quite a lot as well. It could have been different, but the goal was just to get the new players on the field, getting them used to our systems and playing with the senior players. We have quite a lot of work to do based on what we saw tonight.”
While the Kings’ 2015 roster will feature a number of rookies, including T.J. Johnson of Red Deer, the lineup will also include a solid group of veterans led by Julius Abegar, who two years ago was named the ACAC male player of the year and was selected as an All Canadian. Abegar didn’t attend RDC last year due to academic reasons.
“He’ll make a big difference. He’s very experienced,” Fullarton said of Abegar.
Fullarton will also lean on returnees Andrew Jevne, Luke Owen, Mark Ibbotson, Chase Grenier and Alex Ingraham this season. Ibbotson, Abegar, Haydn McLean and Jerson Paez scored for the Kings Monday, with Owen handling netminder duties.
The Kings, who are in Camrose for two exhibition games this weekend and will host Grant MacEwan in another preseason match Sept. 2, finished in a three-way tie for second place in the South Division last year and — due to a controversial decision — were denied a playoff berth.
“We were hard done by last year, but we definitely hope to do better this year,” said Fullarton.