If it’s been said once, it’s been said a million times, “Communication is the hallmark of building a successful franchise!” Unfortunately for the Concordia Stingers men’s soccer team, they haven’t been doing much communicating this season. Friday’s 1-0 loss to the Sherbrooke Vert et Or brought the Stingers’ season record to a dismal 0-6-2. And, as if it couldn’t get any worse for the Stingers, a birth in this years playoffs is far from their reach.
“It’s frustrating, very frustrating,” said team captain Jason Quinn, after his team dropped their second straight game, “we’ve been working hard all season for a win and it’s not paying off. We just couldn’t put in enough intensity when it counted.”
Currently in last place in the QSSF standings, the Concordia Stingers would have to bank on a miracle to make it into the playoffs. The Stingers would have to leapfrog over UQAM, Sherbrooke and UQTR (4th, 5th and 6th place respectively) to make it into the post-season.
The first half saw Sherbrooke trying desperately to get the upper-hand in the early stages of the game, but the Stingers stayed tough and scathed off all of the Vert et Or’s chances. A couple of key saves by keeper Daniel DePalma, as well as a couple of saves by the Stingers’ goal post kept the game tied going into halftime.
Sherbrooke continued to pour on the pressure in the second half until it finally paid off in the 67th minute when Sherbrooke’s defenceman, Landry Mindungu, took advantage of a snoozing Stingers’ backfield, and put one past De Palma to garner the lead.
The Stingers tried with all of their might to tie the game. Unfortunately, the opposition was too much to handle. Offensively, the Stingers could not penetrate through the Sherbrooke defence. Opportunities that could have been converted into goals were batted away by a strong defensive core.
The Stingers played well defensively compared to previous games, but old habits die hard as a breakdown in communication allowed Sherbrooke to score the lone-goal of the game.
“We can’t even buy a win!” A visibly irate coach Vladimir Pavlichik said once the Stingers’ loss. “It’s been the story of the season. We didn’t have too many chances, and a defensive lapse led to the winning goal. It’s very discouraging.”
“We lacked intensity in the second half. Mistakes in our backfield determined the game and we paid for it by allowing a crappy goal,” said Stingers defenseman Bryan Bourbonnais. “It’s a question of playing 90 full minutes. We can never play the last 20 minutes; it’s becoming a habit.”
Habit or not, the Stingers are eight games into the season and are still winless. With four games remaining, the Stingers need to do something, anything, to salvage the rest of the 2006 men’s soccer campaign. The best thing for the Stingers is taking it one game at a time. The playoffs are an after-thought as of right now, but it’s still a possibility. The main concern for the Stingers is Friday’s game versus Universit