Men’s soccer team lose season-opener against UQAM
The Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Citadins kept the Concordia Stingers soccer teams scoreless for three hours of play on Aug. 29. The Stingers women’s team tied the Citadins 0-0, while the men’s side lost 1-0 in the season-opener at Concordia Stadium.
A new era for the women’s soccer team began as Greg Sutton coached his first game in charge of the program. Even with a new coach, the Stingers and Citadins played to the same result as they did last year: a tie. Concordia tied UQAM 2-2 in both games against them last season.
“The biggest thing for me is that we didn’t concede, when last year against this team we conceded twice in both games,” Sutton said. “You don’t lose if you don’t concede, and you give yourself a chance to win.”
— Nicholas Di Giovanni (@n_digiovanni) August 29, 2018
Even with a scoreless draw, there were plenty of scoring chances on both sides. The Citadins had the majority of chances, but Stingers keeper Olivia Desgroseilliers made key saves. The Stingers’s defence also played a high line, creating plenty of offside calls against the Citadins, and frustrating their forwards.
“We have a very intelligent back four, “Sutton said. “We really didn’t give up breakaways from poor decisions on the offside trap.”
“Why chase after your opponent when you can just step up and run them offside?” Sutton added.
Stingers forward Sarah Humes led the attack for her side. She was able to beat the Citadins’s defenders with her strength, and created a few scoring chances. In the second half, she beat the goalie with a low shot, but it hit the post and went wide.
“She will do well for us,” Sutton said about Humes. “She’s strong, she has a knack for goal, so she’s going to be a big piece for us offensively.”
Unlike the women’s team, the men weren’t lucky enough to shutout UQAM. This game got more physical than the women’s, with each team getting two yellow cards.
“The first game of every season is always a physical game,” third-year goalie Karl Gouabé said. “You want to send a message to everyone else in the league.”
The Stingers came out strong in the first half, with the forward duo of Simon Malaborsa and Yacine Ait Slimane creating problems for the opposing defence. Malaborsa had a couple of chances, but just didn’t get enough service before he was subbed off in the 65th minute. Sutton said they need to work on getting the ball up to the forwards.
“It’s going to take some time [to improve], and it’s not going to happen overnight,” Sutton said. “We’re just trying to work with our attacking midfielders and wingers to be able to support the forwards.”
UQAM had a 6-on-2 counter attack and Alexandre Perron sprinted back to break it up.
— Nicholas Di Giovanni (@n_digiovanni) August 30, 2018
Both teams pushed late to win, and it was the Citadins who got the lucky bounce. In the 80th minute, a UQAM cross in the box wasn’t cleared well enough by a Concordia defender, and the ball ended up in the midfield with UQAM in possession. Citadins’s Janouk Charbonneau took a long-range shot which deflected off Mohamed Derouiche, and found the back of the net.
“I think it was an unlucky result, in the sense that it probably should have been a 0-0 game,” the head coach said. “But we didn’t play well either, we are a much better team than we showed.”
The Concordia Stingers soccer teams host the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes on Friday Aug. 31 at the Concordia Stadium. The men’s game is at 6:30 p.m., followed by the women’s game at 8:45 p.m.
Main photo by Alex Hutchins.