RDPolytechic Queens player of the game Grace Smith battles with Megan Morrison of Lethbridge College Kodiaks
With the ability to leapfrog over the Lethbridge College Kodiaks in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women’s Soccer South Division standings, the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens delivered a solid performance Sunday afternoon.
The home team received goals from four different student-athletes and downed the Kodiaks 5-1, moving into second place in the south.
“The game was very good for the Queens,” said Mahziar Peyrow, Red Deer Polytechnic Queens Soccer Head Coach. “We made some adjustments from yesterday’s game and the girls applied those adjustments really well and this is the result because of it.”
The Lethbridge College Kodiaks made an early push, sending a shot just wide and forcing Queens goalkeeper Abby Kotyk, a first-year Bachelor of Kinesiology student, into making a good save.
Soon, momentum switched in favour of the home team.
After a few blocked shots in front of Lethbridge’s net, Sylvan Lake’s Grace Smith sent a low shot past Kodiaks goalkeeper Jordan Quinn in the sixth minute.
In the 34th minute, the Queens expanded their lead to 3-0 when Red Deer’s Corbynn Fujimoto headed the ball past Quinn.
Then on a penalty kick, Furuyama found space on the left side of the Kodiaks’ net, providing the Queens a four goal cushion at the break. It was Furuyama’s 16th goal of the season.
Sherwood Park’s Paige Kalbfleisch added the Queens’ fifth marker six minutes into the second half.
The Kodiaks eventually put one behind Kotyk.
Airdrie’s Olivia DePasquale, a third-year midfielder, got Lethbridge College on the board in the 60th minute.
“The win was huge,” explained Peyrow. “It really sets the stage for us in the second half of the season.”
Smith, a Bachelor of Commerce student, was named the North Star Sports Queens Player of the Game.
“Grace has been working hard all season and making some changes as we go. We have been tweaking her performance and how we need her to play in regard to the rest of the team,” added Peyrow. “We made some adjustments from yesterday to today and it really showed in her performance for sure. She’s very coachable. I have to applaud her – she did very well.”
Montanna Rousselle earned the recognition for the Kodiaks.
The second place Red Deer Polytechnic Queens (4-1) will challenge the Olds College Broncos (2-1-1) on Saturday, October 1 at 12 pm on the road.
Peyrow is looking forward to a rematch with the first place SAIT Trojans (5-0-0) on Sunday, October 2 in Calgary.
“We needed a good win like this to get us ready against our upcoming game against SAIT,” he added.
The third seed Lethbridge College Kodiaks (3-2-1) will face the Rattlers (0-5-0) in Medicine Hat on Friday, September 30 at 2 pm.
The Red Deer Polytechnic Kings demonstrated their resiliency against the Lethbridge College Kodiaks Sunday afternoon.
Having played their second game in less than 24 hours, the Kings started to get fatigued in the second half, but they didn’t relent.
“It was a good start and we were all over them in the first half. We should have put away a couple which would have solidified the lead,” said Mahziar Peyrow, Red Deer Polytechnic Kings Soccer Assistant Coach. “It took awhile to get back into the game and yesterday’s game definitely took a toll on us. You could tell that we were a bit flat footed and tired from yesterday. Lethbridge had a break yesterday, so they were able to rest and it definitely showed.”
The Kings held a 1-0 edge until midway through the second half when the Kodiaks struck twice within a six minute span to capture a 2-1 lead. The home team evened the contest with eight minutes remaining and each squad earned a point in the standings.
The Red Deer Polytechnic Kings opened the scoring in the seventh minute. Kings first-year striker Grant Johnson used his speed up the right side and beat Kodiaks goalkeeper Finn McCann with a low shot.
“Grant had an amazing goal. He tore apart three players twice and then put that goal away. He has speed and is a good addition to the team, for sure,” explained Peyrow. “Their defence was fast today. In the second half, they made an adjustment and shifted players in order to cover him. You could see that he wasn’t getting the ball as much – same thing with Eduardo [Crespo] in the middle. They wouldn’t give him an inch which took a little bit away from our game, but it was exciting for the fans to watch.”
When it looked like that goal may the only one in the battle for second spot in the south, the visitors were energized in the latter half. Ethan Meerkerk tied the game 1-1 in the 73rd minute and Jaxon Uhl lifted the Kodiaks ahead 2-1 in the 79th minute. Charlie Block assisted on both goals.
Then Kings captain Ajdin Sarcevic knotted the contest 2-2 off of a penalty kick. The second-year midfielder found room on the left side.
Both goalkeepers were unbeatable for the rest of the game and the two squads settled for a 2-2 draw.
Ashton Chipman, a first-year Bachelor of Science student, was named the North Star Sports Kings Player of the Game.
“Ashton has wheels. He’s a fast kid and great up and down the wing. He provided a lot for us in the first half,” added Peyrow. “Then he showed for us in the middle which was nice. We needed presence there. He fights hard for the ball. He took a couple of knocks, but still gets up and gets back into the game which is nice to see.”
Defender Joel McLeod received the award for the Kodiaks.
The second place Red Deer Polytechnic Kings (2-1-1) will play the Broncos (1-1-2) in Olds on Saturday, October 1 at 2 pm.
On Friday, September 30, the third seed Kodiaks (1-1-3) will challenge the Rattlers (0-2-2) in Medicine Hat at 4 pm.
Queens Soccer rookie Sensation Sein Furuyama
By Seth Slomp of Red Deer Polytechnic Communications
Sein Furuyama ‘Lives. Eats. Breathes. Soccer. Repeat.’
Absolutely brilliant. Kind-hearted. Enthusiastic. Amazing. Caring. Team-player. Unbelievable. These are just some attributes that describe one international player, who made a mark on the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens Soccer team as well as in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC). But all-in-all, no word can do justice to what this player accomplished this year Sein Furuyama, who hails from Kobe, Japan, is 21 years old and has been playing soccer since the age of seven. She chose the sport because her older brother played it and she liked it the most out of all the other sports she tried.
“I was playing in Fukui High School, and we made it to nationals. I was a right-wing at the time and we managed to just win one game. I scored a couple of goals, and it was also a good time similar to this season in Red Deer.”
When asked about the differences between Japanese and Canadian soccer, Furuyama explained they do not have player of the game honours. If somebody played well, they did not get recognized. At the end of the season, they had a banquet but did not have supper or an awards ceremony. All that was involved in this formal event was speeches from players and coaches which Furuyama found boring.
“I really like the system in the ACAC because it was a rare experience for me as I was able to evaluate the results I had over the past season. The physicality in the matches is totally different as there are only like one to three fouls a game in Japan, where I find there are a lot more fouls called in Canada.”
The Japanese-striker wanted to come to Canada and study English before her future was decided, which has been an incredible experience for Furuyama so far. She explained living away from home and her parents is something she is used to as the Academic Upgrading student-athlete started living alone at the age of 15.
Throughout two years in Canada, the ACAC rookie has toured Vancouver, Victoria and Montreal which she really enjoyed. Furuyama also really enjoyed a place not too far from Red Deer.
“These places were definitely a good experience as it was nice to get out of Red Deer for a bit and see a bit more of Alberta and Canada. I also went to Banff which was my favourite of all the places. It was really pretty. I like the life in Canada, and I am having a great time.”
She did not just come here to tour around and learn English, Furuyama was recruited by Queens Soccer Head Coach Mahziar Peyrow to play for his team in the ACAC. The 2022 South Coach of the Year thought it would be nice to add an international athlete to a program that
has never had one.
“I wanted to bring something different to our game. I worked for many months on recruiting Sein. She came very highly recommended from her coaches in Japan and it showed in her game play. She’s extremely disciplined, talented, and technically sound. Sein is very coachable even with the language barrier”
It took 18 months for Furuyama to play her first match with the Queens, but it did not take long for her to leave a mark on the ACAC. In her debut match against a strong SAIT Trojans squad, she scored two of the Queens’ three goals in the 4-3. She went scoreless the next game but followed that up with a total of 12 tallies against the Medicine Hat College and the Ambrose University Lions. This started a goal streak which saw her score 23 goals in six games, which put herself in good position to break the ACAC Single Season Goal Record. This was previously held by Kayla Michaels, who played for the NAIT Ooks, and scored 26 goals in the 2014/2015 season. At this point, she was just two away from breaking the record, but it took some time as she went scoreless against the University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings and the Lethbridge College Kodiaks. On October 16, history was made for Furuyama as she capitalized on two shots against the Rattlers to tie and break the record in the same game. She added two more goals to extend the record in a single season to 29.
The captain of the Queens, Alisha Coules, who is graduating from the Queens Soccer program this year, explained Furuyama is amazing and unique in her own way.
“Despite her successes and accomplishments on the provincial and national collegiate level, she acknowledged everyone that contributed to her achievements and looked at the team who got her there. She ‘Lives. Eats. Breathes. Soccer. Repeat.’ which is definitely evident in her commitment to the sport, her gameplay and to the team.”
With a record-breaking season in her first year playing in Alberta, she was awarded not only the Women’s South Rookie of the Year but also the South Player of the Year honour. On top of all this, Furuyama was named to the All-Conference and All-Canadian squad for her incredible performance in her rookie season and also finished with a gold medal around her neck at the championships in Lethbridge.
Sein and Alisha became a dynamic duo in the conference at the top of the Queens formation and Peyrow said they both understood what the team worked on every training session and were able to break the back line well. They stayed close to each other and worked off each other’s touch very well. When asked about why Furuyama, a natural goal scorer, and herself worked well together, Coles described she was able to do what she did best – playmaking.
“This year was phenomenal because it allowed me to do what I did best and fulfill my role as a playmaker on the team. Sein is phenomenal at working off and on the ball. She has an amazing shot, so it created that dynamic duo at the front end, which gave the opposing team something to worry about.”
The graduating nursing student added the international player was game smart and was able to exploit gaps in the opposing defensive line. Coules said that she seemed to be a lot quicker than the rest of the league and had a powerful shot, which made her stand out from the rest of the female athletes.
Even though all her honours were individual awards, Furuyama the kind-hearted, caring, enthusiastic person that she is, recognized her accomplishments as a team win.
“I really enjoyed my time with my teammates and was happy with everything. My individual results are thanks to everyone: my teammates, coaches, and of course the fans. I can’t get those awards without the people that supported me throughout the year. Lastly, I want to thank my parents too. I really appreciated the support I got from the bottom of my heart.”
As of now, Furuyama is considering coming back next year but first must go back to her university in Japan and graduate. Once this happens, the South Player of the Year hopes to come back to play with her Queens teammates as this was a season Furuyama will never forget.
RDP Queens drop Trojans, share first place in the south
Ever since the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens were edged by the SAIT Trojans 4-3 in the season opener, they had the October 2 rematch circled on their calendars.
Despite playing the Trojans tough in the first game, the RDP Queens had several injuries and ill student-athletes, and believed if they were healthy and played up to their potential they could topple the defending Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Champions.
That belief turned into reality Sunday afternoon in Calgary.
The visitors struck twice in the first half and earned an impressive 2-1 road decision over the second ranked women’s soccer team in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).
In the 28th minute, Queens first-year striker Sein Furuyama controlled the ball on the left side and fired a high shot that eluded Trojans goalkeeper Erin Mergen into the right side of the net. It was Furuyama’s league leading 19th goal of the season.
The 2-0 lead held until the 68th minute. On a two-on-one, SAIT’s Meaghan Wiebe, the 2021/2022 ACAC Women’s Soccer Rookie of the Year, elected to shoot and beat Queens goalkeeper Abby Kotyk with a low shot.
Both Kotyk (five saves) and Mergen (four saves) were unbeatable over the final 22 minutes and the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens sealed a 2-1 victory.
The RDP Queens (6-1-0) and SAIT Trojans (6-1-0) now share first place in the south.
Edmonton’s Estel Quinteros was recognized as the Queens Player of the Game.
E. Quinteros (8)
Harleen Singh was named the Trojans Player of the Game.
The Red Deer Polytechnic Queens (6-1-0) will play the Ambrose University Lions (0-8-0) on Friday, October 7 on the road.
Janet Alvarez Perez (6)
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