Both the Stingers and Carabins failed to find back of the net in season opener
The Concordia Stingers Men’s Soccer team kicked off against local rival Montreal Carabins at Concordia Stadium on August 30.
Following the Stingers women’s team’s lead, the men would be in for a tough test as the Carabins finished atop the Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) standings in 2022. This match would also serve as an opportunity for revenge, as the Carabins shot down the Stingers’ hopes of a play-off berth last season.
Several new players made their Stingers debut, as injuries and the loss of ten graduates from 2022 were absent from the roster. Stingers’ head coach Greg Sutton says the biggest challenge was the loss of their graduates last year. “We have to understand that not everything is going to happen overnight,” he said. “There will be some time and progression for this team, but we will get there and we will be better in those big moments of the game.”
The first half of the match saw the Carabins come close to scoring on several occasions. A shot glanced off the crossbar which bounced in the Stingers’ favour and stayed out. Twenty minutes later, a Montréal corner kick led to another close call, this time ringing a shot off the post. That being said, the Stingers persevered.
The second half offered much more even playing surface. While the Stingers’ offensive opportunities were hard to come by, their defence was the story of the second half. Stingers’ goalkeeper David Desbarets stopped all eight Carabins shots on goal throughout the match, earning the fourth-year goalkeeper player of the game honours.
Yellow cards and free kicks were all that filled the game sheet in this match, as the game concluded with a score of 0-0.
Coach Sutton reflected on the tightly-contested affair postgame. “This first game was more about the resilience we showed, in the sense that the character we showed was strong,” he said. “We were able to do what we were able to do and get the result against a good team.”
The Stingers will head across town to face their next opponent, the McGill Redbirds, at 1:00 pm on September 3.