Sunday was a good day for Concordia soccer but a bad day for soccer purists.
The men’s and women’s sides were successful against UQAM, but their wins were deemed messy by their respective coaching staffs.
The women kicked off the frigid afternoon with a 1-0 lead, courtesy of a goal by Elisa Quaranta, despite starting with an extremely sloppy first half.
“We started very slowly,” said Marie-Claude Allard, author of the Stingers’ second goal.
“We panicked a bit with the ball. We were too bunched up and we were poorly positioned.
Our coach [Jorge Sanchez] suggested we use our speed and spread out a bit, and it worked.”
The coach’s strategy worked indeed, as the female Stingers added to their lead with Allard’s goal within the first few minutes of the second half.
The ball possession and scoring opportunities were quite strongly in favour, but they were unable to add to their lead as their attempts on goal were weak.
“We’ll take the three points, but it was an ugly win,” said Sanchez.
“We played a high tempo game on Friday against McGill, and came back to tie the game at two.
“It was the first point we took from McGill in about six years, so we might have been a little drained today, but now we are in the playoff hunt.”
Then men’s match mirrored that of the women’s, as they too were coming off a huge win at McGill on Friday.
“We left it all on the field against the Redmen,” said the coach Vladimir Pavlicik.
“So we started the game vs. UQAM with some uncertainty.
It wasn’t pretty, but the three points are welcome.”
The men took a 2-0 lead with goals from Kevin Fiset in the first half, and Daniel Takhee in the second and it seemed that things were well in hand.
However, UQAM cut into the lead by scoring a few minutes after Takhee’s goal in the second half.
Things broke down slightly in the mid-field after that, but the Stingers’ defence were able to withstand the barrage and preserve the victory.
“We contained them defensively, and came out on top,” said captain Mehdi Mourali.
“We beat the number one and two teams in our division over the weekend and are now in the playoff hunt.
There are five teams competing for four playoff spots, which makes next weekends’ games very important to us.”
The importance of next weekends’ games extends to both the men’s and women’s teams as they play a home-and-home series against Sherbrooke.
Winning both games would put the Stingers in great position for the playoffs.