The Concordia Stingers men’s soccer team played their third game of the season this Sunday afternoon and lost 2-1 in a very close game against the McGill Redmen.
The game started off brightly for the Stingers as they immediately gained control of the ball, and through a series of neat passes marked the first attempt on goal by forward Matthijs Eppinga.
The McGill team’s retaliation came quick and their midfielder’s long pass brought the ball to Jeremy Hurdle’s feet. His strike lead to McGill’s first goal of the game.
Tension on the field and amongst the crowd grew stronger as the match grew older. A few minutes later a hasty foul by the Stingers awarded the McGill team a free kick. The ball was taken deep into the box but the Stingers’ defence was there to block it.
Throughout the entire first half, possession of the ball was divided almost equally between the teams, with the Stingers relentlessly putting pressure on their opponents. McGill’s players had a chance to take the lead, but their efforts kept getting flagged for offside.
Concordia’s team was doing very well by the end of the first half, but still couldn’t get past the goalkeeper. Half-time boosted the players’ spirits and morale remained high.
Almost 12 minutes into the second half, the Stingers were handed a corner kick. Ryan Brousseau sent the ball soaring deep into the box. Midfielder Claude Arthur-Diesse got hold of it and aimed at the goal. Into the net it went and the score was tied.
Rough play just minutes after the equalizer prompted a pause in play, wherein a heavy confrontation between McGill goalkeeper Jean-Lou Gosselin and a Stinger left Gosselin injured and forced the team to replace him.
The Stingers then increased pressure on their opponents. Diesse sliced through McGill’s defence with a precision pass. Stingers’ forward Eppinga was on the receiving end but his shot at the goal was neatly blocked, allowing McGill’s substitute goalkeeper Matt Gilmour to show his worth.
Throughout the second half, McGill maintained its defence well, but wasn’t able to gain possession of the ball and control over the game.
Towards the end, Concordia’ team had the opportunity to score the winning goal, but a strong counterattack by McGill’s players snatched it away.
To everyone’s surprise and most of the Stingers’ dismay, a light-footed strike by one of McGill’s players landed the ball in the net. Concordia worked hard to tie but the match was nearing its end and soon after, the referee’s whistle signaled McGill’s victory.
Whilst leading the team away from the field, Stingers head coach Lloyd Barker did not seem too troubled. “I thought we deserved a better result, but we have a competitive team so we’re going to fight on, one game at a time.”
The next games are Sept. 24, at Laval at 6:30 p.m., and a home game against UQAM at 3 p.m. Sept. 26.