Stingers honour Erica Cadieux in draw versus UQTR

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The Stingers women’s soccer team hands gifts to the family of Erica Cadieux for donation. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

Concordia collected donations, gifts for Children’s Hospital in memory of former student-athlete

The Concordia Stingers women’s soccer team tied 2-2 against the Université de Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes in the Erica Cadieux Memorial Game on Sept. 22.

For a 12th year in a row, the Stingers held a game in memory of Cadieux, a former Stingers soccer player. She played for Concordia from 1992 to 1994, while double-majoring in political science and Spanish.

Cadieux was killed after being hit by a car while walking with her 18-month-old daughter, who survived, in Beaconsfield on Jan. 27, 2006. Every year since, her family and friends gather at Concordia Stadium to remember her.

“We can’t express enough our gratitude to the university for this honour,” said Yolanda Cadieux, Erica’s mother. “It’s just been wonderful for our family.”

Yolanda said that after Erica’s death, some of her former Stingers teammates wanted to come up with a way to honour their friend.

“We wanted this to be a meaningful thing, something she would be proud of,” Yolanda said. “We decided the Montreal Children’s Hospital would be our focus, and we would try and raise money [for the hospital].” While Erica was a student at Concordia, she volunteered in the neurological wing of the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

The Stingers women’s soccer team accepted donations and gifts for kids at the game, which they send to the Children’s Hospital. This year, the Stingers said they received over $500 in donations, plus multiple children’s toys and games.

This year’s game featured a different way to honour Erica—her family, her former teammates and Stingers alumni gathered for a reception before the game.

“We had former players here from the late 1980s,” said head coach Jorge Sanchez. “We told [the current players], ‘Some of you weren’t even born when they played here, but you all have something that unites you together.’” Current and former players shared their connection with soccer and the Stingers, two things Erica loved most.

“[The Stingers were] everything for Erica,” Yolanda said. “It was what made Concordia great for her, because I think there’s something about the friendship you have in a sports setting that transcends the school.”

Every year, Erica’s widowed husband, Carlo Spadafora, would bring their daughters, Bianca, 13, and Olivia, 12, to the game. But this year, Spadafora and the two girls were unable to make the trip to Montreal from Sault Ste-Marie, Ont. Yolanda said she was disappointed her granddaughters, who play soccer like their mom did, couldn’t go.

“I think when my granddaughters called me and told me they weren’t coming, I said, ‘You have to realize that this is a tremendous honour for the university to hold a special game in memory of your mom,’” Yolanda said.

However, the rest of Erica’s family, including her parents, sisters, nieces and nephews, were present. It gave the game a fun, family atmosphere, something rarely seen at Stingers soccer games.

Midfielder Laura Lamontagne passes the ball against the UQTR Patriotes on Sept. 22. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

Concordia got off to a weak start when defender Kate Evoy made a bad pass to the keeper, Olivia Desgroseilliers. UQTR’s Valerie Noel intercepted the ball, got past Desgroseilliers and ran in to score just 10 minutes into the game.

Evoy redeemed herself in the 27th minute when she sent forward Sarah Humes on a breakaway with a long pass. Humes made no mistake, blasting the ball past the helpless UQTR keeper.

Just two minutes later, midfielder Chama Sedki scored from a free kick 35 yards away from the net. The Stingers carried the lead into halftime, but the Patriotes tied the game at 2-2 in the 55th minute when Magali Gravel scored off a corner kick.

“I thought we had our chances just like they did, and it could have gone either way,” Sanchez said. “It was one of those games where teams were risky to try and get the win, and we ended up with the tie, so we shared the pain.”

Before the memorial game, the Concordia men’s soccer team lost 3-1 to UQTR. On Sept. 24, the women won 1-0 against the McGill Martlets, while the men lost 3-0 to McGill. Both teams will have an away game against the Sherbrooke Vert et Or on Sept. 29.

Main photo by Alex Hutchins

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