There was no playoff spot on the line for the Concordia women’s soccer team as they played the McGill Martlets this past Sunday at Loyola. There was, however, a tremendous amount of pride at stake.
The Stingers would unfortunately drop the contest 2-0 but before the final whistle was blown, this team, consisting of 14 rookies, proved that it has a bright future ahead.
The Maroon and Gold got the satisfaction of preventing McGill from capturing first-place by holding them below the five goals they needed to accomplish the feat. From a team perspective, the greatest accomplishment of the day was putting together a meaningful last effort for those playing in their final game as a Stinger.
Team captain Kathleen Grzybowski, defender Anne-Marie Lachapelle and Jerusha Osborne are all names that have become synonymous with Concordia soccer. “I really have to take my hat off to the girls because they knew how much this meant to me and the others to go out strong,” Osborne said.
The contest itself was one that had both teams bringing determined efforts that couldn’t be fully realized due to the sloppy rain conditions. It was the usual suspects providing the offensive spark for ConU as Osborne, Elisa Quaranta and Melanie Poirer connected for several good scoring chances.
The first half would end with the teams locked in a scoreless tie.
After what was, for the most part a lackluster first half, the game saw its first goal come early in the second on what was both a great passing sequence for the Martlets and a rare defensive error for the Stingers. Just a couple of minutes into the half, a pass across the goal area made its way within reach of several Stinger defenders who failed to intercept the pass.
That gave forward Sarah Chmielewski a clear shot in close to give McGill a 1-0 lead.
Not long after their first goal, the Martlets would get a couple of good chances to add an insurance marker. They would be held off though, thanks to some solid goaltending from Stinger keeper Diane Ouimet and good defensive efforts that slowed down the dangerous McGill strikers.
A number of times it looked like Concordia would break through the McGill defence for one last offensive surge. However, the visitors were up to the challenge as they would hold off the threat and eventually net that elusive second goal.
After a centering pass bounced through the Concordia goal area and missed its intended receiver, McGill’s Lisa Dyck still managed to bury the loose ball from the right side of the net for an insurmountable 2-0 lead.
Despite losing the game the attitude around the team was a positive one after the game.
“We finished the season with a good effort,” Coach Jorge Sanchez said. “I’m especially happy for the graduating players that they could go out like this.”
Grzybowski was especially proud of the team’s effort through the last couple of months. “We struggled as a team early on with so many rookies but we really started to come together,” she said. “This season has been such an incredible experience and will arm the rest of the team for next year. The girls have learnt what it means to be a Stinger.”