Stingers draw to Patriotes in hard-fought game

The men’s soccer team is still searching for their first win

The spotlight was on the Concordia Stingers men’s soccer team once again as they hosted Université du Quebec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) in a must-win game. Unfortunately for the Stingers they came up short, drawing 0-0.

“It’s disappointing,” said assistant coach Francois Bastien. “We needed a better result and we didn’t get it.”

The Stingers came out with a surge of energy in the first half, but looked a little nervous. At times, they seemed disorganized as passes were not connecting. The Patriotes were simply winning more battles.

However, in the 10th minute of play, Stingers forward Vincent Murray jumped on a breakaway and had a beautiful opportunity to take the lead, but his chip just missed the net, skimming the crossbar.

Photo by Briana Thicke.

A few minutes later, UQTR took back control of the game, and as a result had a few glorious chances. At the 24th minute, Concordia defender Alexander Elali committed a foul inside the box and the Patriotes were given a penalty shot. Due to a great diving save from goalkeeper Wes Aucoin, the game stayed at nil-nil.

As the first half dwindled down, Concordia’s frustration was on full display. They were forcing plays, they failed to use open space and they were simply not communicating. The Stingers hadn’t had a shot anywhere near the net since Murray’s breakaway chance in the beginning of the game.

As the second half began, Concordia came out like a different team. They were all over the Patriotes, and you could tell that they were hungry for the win.

Concordia was pressuring UQTR for most of the second half, trapping them in their own zone and forcing their opponent to make mistakes. The Stingers were finally generating a handful of shots on net and had multiple quality chances. Concordia had finally forced open the Patriotes defense and were wearing them down late in the match.

As the game came to an end, the Stingers were scrambling and doing everything they could to get at least one in the back of the net. But the effort was too late.

“It’s been the same thing all season long. We have problems scoring goals,” said Bastien. “We have to give credit to our rookie goaltender [Wes Aucoin] and defenceman Olivier Georges, they are the ones making the difference defensively. But you can have all the possession in the world, if you don’t score goals, you’re not going to win.”

Concordia sits in second-to-last place with a total of five points. Though it is mathematically possible for the Stingers to make the playoffs this season, with only four games left, their chances are few.

“We need to work on generating opportunities,” said Bastien. “This has been the problem all year long.”

The Stingers host Université de Montréal at Loyola on Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. The Carabins are one of the strongest teams in the league, so they’ll need all the help they can get.

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