The men’s team picked up their first win while the women lost
Concordia’s men’s and women’s soccer teams split their home openers against the Université de Montréal Carabins on Sept. 9 as the men won their match 2-1, and the women lost theirs 2-0.
Despite being dominated for the better part of the match and being down a goal, the Stingers were able to mount a comeback giving them their 2-1 victory.
The team struggled in terms of ball possession, but this is something that Stingers assistant coach François Bastien wasn’t too worried about.
“We don’t mind if they have possession in their defensive third of the field,” Bastien said. “This is something we were never really bothered with because we want to keep the team tight and collective to protect the net.”
Stingers goalkeeper Karl Gouabé was a standout in the match and played a large role in the team’s victory. The freshman made ten saves in the game and was able to save his teammates on numerous occasions when the Carabins were pressing in the Stingers zone.
Gouabé said that receiving more shots in a game allows him to improve, however a high amount of shots isn’t always a good thing.
“As a goalkeeper, the best game is a game where you get no shots,” Gouabé said. “As much as I’m getting better with more shots, I’m still hoping for less.”
Known as what Bastien describes as a “slow starting team,” the Stingers stayed true to that description and almost allowed a goal 30 seconds into the first half. The Stingers had a hard time containing the Carabins skilled forwards, who were constantly buzzing around the net.
The Carabins finally capitalized on their opportunities in the 25th minute and took a 1-0 lead with a goal by forward Hugo Chambon. In the entire first half, the Stingers were unable to get a shot on goal.
Concordia stood their ground in the second half and battled back with hard work and a chippy attack. The Stingers got on the board with a goal from forward Gabriel Quinn in the 67th minute to tie the game at one all.
During injury time, the Stingers stole the win after a goal from forward Mustapha Medouni, who had just been substituted into the game.
“I came in and I wanted to score quickly. It happened so fast—I tried and I was able to score,” Medouni said.
The team’s next game is at home against the Université de Québec à Trois-Rivieres on Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m.
On the women’s side, the team was unable to get their first win of the season after being shutout 2-0 by the Carabins.
“I always want to win. I don’t care who I’m playing. My objective, my expectation is that we can win every game,” said Stingers head coach Jorge Sanchez.
Stingers Captain Alyssa Ruscio shared the same sentiments as her coach.
“I knew it was going to be tough going in,” Ruscio said. “[The Carabins] have always been one of the top ranked teams. But our idea coming in was to start from the first whistle and give it all we have and show the whole league that we can compete this year.”
The Carabins dominated the Stingers with constant pressure throughout the match. Aside from a shot that hit the crossbar in the first half, the Stingers were unable to get any offense going and finished the game with only two shots on goal.
The Carabins scored two goals in the first half and were able to keep the Stingers off the scoreboard.
However it was not all negative, as the Stingers were able to slow down their rivals in the second half.
“It’s really positive that we didn’t concede in the second [half] given that we were down 2-0,” Sanchez said. “But we need to work on set pieces. That’s how they scored both goals.”
For Sanchez, another reason why the Stingers allowed the two goals was because they let the Carabins get second chances with the ball. Nonetheless, Sanchez said he was happy with his team’s effort in the second half.
“I thought our second half was much better. I thought our effort was good,” Sanchez said. “We played a little more physical and aggressive, matched them on that side. But we didn’t take opportunities when they presented themselves.”
The Stingers aim for their first win of the season against the Université de Québec à Trois-Rivières on Sept. 16 at 8:30 p.m.