Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams were unable to beat the powerful teams from Laval
The Concordia Stingers soccer teams dropped a pair of games against the Laval Rouge et Or on Sept. 30 at Concordia Stadium. The men lost 2-1 and the women lost 4-0.
The loss was heartbreaking for the men’s team — the game was destined for a draw until Laval stole the win in the 89th minute.
“There wasn’t any flow to the game, so it was difficult. A draw probably would have been fair,” said Stingers head coach Greg Sutton.
Eleven minutes in, Laval forward Marc-Olivier Kouo Dibongue redirected a cross just past the fingertips of Stingers keeper Michael Pelcar.
Pelcar played in place of an injured Karl Gouabé. Gouabé got injured last game, and Pelcar found out about his start only 90 minutes before game time.
“I had to be mentally focused all week in practice, and just come in and do my job,” said Pelcar, a fourth-year veteran.
The Stingers responded well to the early goal. In the 25th minute, the Stingers had a free kick 25 yards out. Two Stingers ran over the ball, faking a shot, before left back Amadou Lam blasted the shot past the Laval keeper to tie the game.
Concordia created most of the chances for the rest half, a positive for Sutton.
“The last 30 minutes of the [first] half, we probably dominated the play,” Sutton said. “I was happy to see that.”
Most of the second half passed without much action. Pelcar made a handful of key stops, but the Stingers created minimal offensive chances.
The Rouge et Or stripped away the draw when Laval striker Nicolas Hernandez volleyed the ball over Pelcar. There wasn’t much Pelcar could do about it.
“It sucks to lose in the last two minutes,” Pelcar said.
Sutton saw the late-game goal as an avoidable lapse of focus.
“Mentally it comes down to just being switched on in those moments, especially late in the game,” Sutton said.
The women’s team held their own against the number one team in the country, but Laval’s offense was firing on all cylinders and simply outclassed them.
Stingers head coach Jorge Sanchez called Laval a “quality team.”
The Stingers played well in the first half, limiting Laval’s chances. Stingers centre backs Bella Corbeil and Alyssa Ruscio were constantly frustrating the Rouge et Or attack, and goalkeeper Carmen Milne stood tall in the net.
About 15 minutes in, Milne was forced to make two quick stops before a defender cleared a third shot off the line. She added many key saves throughout the game.
“Our goalie, as a rookie, is fantastic. She just got herself big and came out strong,” Sanchez said. Milne faced 19 shots, nine of which were on target.
Laval opened the scoring when forward Joelle Gosselin jumped higher than everybody to head a free kick into the net. With only two players of the starting 11 over 5 feet 6 inches tall, the Stingers certainly had a height disadvantage on the goal.
The Stingers conceded three goals in first 11 minutes of the second half, and Laval had a stranglehold. The head coach attributed the defensive collapse to a lack of concentration.
“I think we just fell asleep for ten minutes in the second half,” Sanchez said. “That hurt us.”
11th Annual Erica Cadieux Memorial Game
The women’s team played their game in memory of Erica Cadieux, a former Stinger who played on the women’s soccer team from 1992 to 1994. The Stingers have held this game every year since her tragic death in 2006.
Prior to the game, the Stingers presented Cadieux’s two daughters and her widower with gifts to be donated to the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Sanchez has cached all 11 games, and appreciated how the tradition continues with his team.
“It’s good to see they all contributed money to the gifts, and all participated,” Sanchez said. “They recognized there’s something bigger than soccer.”