Concordia’s women’s soccer team was back at home after a two-game road trip over the weekend. They faced the McGill Martlets on Wednesday in a rescheduled match from Sept. 14. That game was cancelled due to poor weather conditions.
Coach Jorge Sanchez used a familiar starting lineup for this derby match. Jennifer Duff and Gabriela Padvaiskas started up front as strikers. Shauna Zilversmit, Valerie Ishak, Kayla Myre and Melissa Kedro completed the midfield. Saby Dagenais got the start in goal. She was protected by defenders Alexandra Dragan, Shannon Travers, Philippa Lyttle and Lindsey Brooks.
The Wednesday night match started well for the visiting McGill side. The first scoring chance of the night came 11 minutes in. From around 25 yards out, defender Kelsey Wilson curled a free kick just past the right post.
McGill continued to dictate play. The visitors quickly transitioned up the pitch and were able to find gaps in the midfield. In the 20th minute, Martlets forward Meghan Bourque found lots of time and space in the middle and decided to unleash a rocket towards the ConU goal. Her strike from 30 yards out touched the crossbar and bounced very close to the goal line. The assistant referee deemed the ball to have completely crossed the goal line and the point was awarded.
The Martlets almost doubled their lead three minutes before the break as a free-kick from the right side found defender Bahar Sansar alone in front and she easily beat Dagenais. Fortunately for the Stingers, the assistant referee had his flag up signaling an offside.
Concordia was much improved in the final 45 minutes. Eleven minutes into the second half, Kedro had a good chance to test McGill’s goalkeeper from atop the box. The chance was squandered as the ball skipped past her foot.
The miss would prove to be costly as the Martlets went up 2-0 off a free kick down in the corner of the Concordia half. Sansar whipped in a ball that ended up flying over everyone in the box and into the top corner of the goal. Dagenais had little chance to stop the perfectly placed shot.
Despite being down two goals, the Stingers never gave up in the match. In the 63rd minute, they were rewarded with a penalty kick for a handball infraction inside McGill’s penalty area. Duff, Concordia’s leading scorer, made no mistake from the spot.
Seven minutes later, the maroon and gold would find the equalizer. From a free kick from the right side, Kedro got on the end of the kick and accurately placed her header into the corner of the McGill goal.
There would be no more goals to finish of the match. With the draw, Concordia moves to within one point of the final playoff spot in the RSEQ conference. They are trailing the Laval Rouge et Or.
“I’m proud of how hard we fought,” said Sanchez of his team. “We didn’t get down, we kept going. When we got the penalty, we had enough time left where we knew it would be interesting and we scored a great goal right after.”
With six matches to go, Concordia is in a good position to qualify for the playoffs. It’s been more than five years since the team last made it. The Stingers will need to continue to pick up points in their remaining fixtures.
“Our goal is to get four points between this game and next week’s game against McGill,” Sanchez added. “We got one, now we have to get the three next week.”
Concordia’s next match is on Oct. 11 at 6:30 p.m. The team travels to McGill for round two to try and settle this stalemate.