By Danny Rode
Red Deer Advocate
Paula Dadensky didn’t get into playing soccer until Grade 8 when asked by a friend to come out for the team in Stettler.
“Until then, I played baseball, but I ended up playing soccer and it’s been great … it’s helped with my schooling and keeps me busy,” she said.
Dadensky has developed into one of the premier scorers in the province and leads the Alberta Major Women’s Soccer League with nine goals in just six games.
She connected twice Sunday to lead the Red Deer Renegades to a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Alliance at RDC.
“My season is going good … I’ve impressed myself,” she said with a laugh. “But really, I set high standards at the college last year and I’m trying to keep it going.”
Dadensky led the RDC Queens and the ACAC South Division in scoring last season, connecting 11 times in 10 games.
Her success has caught the eye of the University of Alberta head coach and she’s already guaranteed a spot with the Pandas in the fall.
“I want to continue to grow,” she said.
Dadensky led the Renegades, then called Red Deer City, in scoring last season, though she didn’t have much help up front and she played less than five full games.
“I sprained my ankle and that was the end of the season,” she said. “This year, we have some strong wingers, which has helped me and the team.”
Sidney Daines is one of those offensive talents as the rookie notched her third goal of the season Sunday. Kayla Keenan added the other marker.
The win earned a split in the weekend twin-bill for the Renegades — they lost 6-0 to the Northwest United in Edmonton on Saturday — and left them in eighth place in the league with a 4-2 record.
“Overall, we’re doing very well,” Dadensky said. “It’s nice compared to last year. This year, we have a solid core and we’re working better as a group. Plus, we have the finishing we didn’t have last year.
“We started well and have built off that.”
Renegades head coach Ado Sarcevic didn’t feel the team played its best Sunday, but was glad to take the win.
“It was tough, as we played yesterday and lost 6-0, so it was hard to come back today,” he said.
“The second game on the weekend is always tough, especially considering we’ve only played six games so far and we’re not really in game shape. It’s tough when you’re not playing.”
The Renegades are also without four regulars.
“It’s that way in the summer, you seem to be a bit shorthanded at times,” Sarcevic said. “Plus, we couldn’t call up any of the youth players, as they were playing. But we’re happy with the results.”
Sarcevic is also happy with the way the season has gone so far. “The girls have worked hard and everyone is excited and they want to play,” he said. “It’s great for our program as the youth players look up and see a place they want to play. As well, we’re working alongside the college and it benefits everyone.”
The Renegades took a 2-0 lead Sunday before the Alliance came back to even the count.
The Renegades return to action Sunday when they host the Calgary Callies at noon at Edgar Park North.