Soccer Sports

The stage is set for the 2024 Euro Championship

Multiple teams will make their bid at winning this summer’s main football event.

The European Championship playoff round took place on March 26 to decide which final teams in the tournament would be. Now that the groups are set, it is time to deliberate who will be crowned European Champions in 2024.

This year’s tournament will include a mix of soccer powerhouses along with teams that may go under the radar. Six groups of four teams each will battle in the first round—the group stage—to decide who advances to the knockout rounds. The top two teams from each group, along with the best third place teams in the tournament, will punch their ticket to the next round.

In Group A, the host country, Germany, is likely a favourite to advance through to the knockout round. Young talent in attacking midfielder Kai Havertz, as well as established goalkeeper Manuel Nauer give the hosts a big advantage against opposing countries. Scotland, Hungary and Switzerland will battle tough to be the runner-up and clinch their spot in the next round.

Another notable group in the tournament is Group D. France, who came in second place at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, is likely to win the group. The runner-up spot is likely to be a tough battle between Netherlands, Austria and Poland. 

England is also a favourite in Group C with Slovenia, Denmark and Serbia. The same thing goes for Belgium in Group E with Slovakia, Romania and Ukraine. Group F is likely to be topped by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal squad, as they will compete against Turkey, Czechia and Georgia.

Finally, the stacked Group B—ranked third in Europe is Spain. The Spanish powerhouse comes into the tournament with one of the most balanced squads in the world made up of striker Álvaro Morata, midfielder Dani Olmo and goalkeeper Unai Simón. Though they are favourites to win the tournament, advancing to the knockout stage will not be a breeze for Spain. First, they will have to get through Croatia. Led by the veteran striker Luka Modrić, Croatia came in third place at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. 

They did, however, finish the Euro Qualifying stage by losing to Wales, whose team failed to qualify for the tournament. Despite the talent of both Spain and Croatia, the competition does not stop there. Italy, winner of the 2020 European Championship, comes into the tournament as the 18th nation in Europe. Yet, Italy has the experience as one of the top nations in the world. Striker Federico Chiesa and goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma have the potential to carry Italy to the knockout stage even against the toughest opponents. Albania, the final nation in the group, will be up against large competition and will have to go on a magical run to make it out of the group stage.

The European Championship is a world-renowned tournament for a reason. Once again in 2024, it will be a best-on-best frenzy to see which nation will be crowned champions of the football capital of the world.

Soccer Sports

Following the Africa Cup of Nations from across the Atlantic Ocean

Eight thousand kilometres away from Concordia University, 24 African countries have battled it out at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

After a month of competition, hosts Côte d’Ivoire defeated Nigeria in the 2023 AFCON final on Sunday, the tournament’s most exciting edition in recent memory. For example, none of the eight quarter-finalists in 2022 have made the same stage this year.

A tournament that brings people together

Soccer distinguishes itself from many other popular sports by how easy it is to play. The fact that you only need a ball to play has catapulted the sport into worldwide popularity. This is no different in Africa, where it’s bringing people together through AFCON.

Malik Lee, a Nigerian Concordia student, says his country unites behind the Nigerian national team during AFCON tournaments. “There’s a lot of diversity, like 300 languages, multiple tribes. So it’s one thing that really puts everybody together,” he said. 

National teams can also turn enemies into friends. Mohamed Hazem Bonna, President of the university’s Egyptian Association, says games between Al Ahly and Zamalek, the country’s two biggest clubs, often get heated. “When they play against each other, in Egypt after the match, there will be a lot of fights, a lot of insults and whatever because the passion is crazy there in Egypt,” he said. 

However, when the Egyptian national team plays, these rivalries disappear momentarily. “We all play with each other, as Zamalek players play with Al Ahly players. So we’re all one hand. We’re all supporting the national team,” Bonna said.

Such an important tournament inevitably sees cultural and political rivalries play out on the pitch. However, Lee believes these rivalries create a sense of unity within Africa during the competition. “And it’s so funny because it brings us together through us fighting,” he said.

Côte d’Ivoire rising like a phoenix from the ashes

Before the start of the tournament, Côte d’Ivoire would have been among almost everybody’s group of favourites to lift the AFCON trophy. Not only did they have one of the best squads on paper in the tournament, but they were also hosting the competition. 

After a 2-0 win against Guinea-Bissau to open the tournament, they lost 1-0 to Nigeria and 4-0 to Equatorial Guinea to finish the group stage. Things looked so bad for Côte d’Ivoire that head coach Jean-Louis Gasset even resigned after the group stage. However, due to multiple favourable results in other groups, they finished as the fourth-best third-place team, the last qualifying spot for the round of 16.

The round of 16 marked the beginning of a dramatic redemption story. It saw Côte d’Ivoire eliminate reigning champion Senegal on penalties. In the quarter-finals, they scored in the 90th minute to force extra time, scoring yet again in the last minutes of extra time to beat Mali. A 1-0 win in the semifinal over the Democratic Republic of the Congo set up a rematch with Nigeria in the final. To the delight of the home crowd, they would win it by the score of 2-1, after two second-half goals by Franck Kessié and Sébastien Haller.

Nearly a first title in 11 years for Nigeria

Before the knockout round, The Concordian spoke with many Nigerian students during an inter-university soccer tournament organized by Concordia’s Nigerian Students Association. These students shared what they believe it would have meant for them to see their country win the AFCON for the first time since 2013.

Faisal Audu was pessimistic about Nigeria’s winning chances. “I really hope we can win because I’m not really positive about them. But it’s gonna be a good thing if we can win. Because I’m gonna brag a lot,” he said while smiling. “I have friends from countries that are better than us, like Senegal.”

Josh Njoku is a big supporter of the Nigerian national soccer team. “I support the Nigerian national team a lot, more than the usual Nigerian, you know? Despite all the mess-ups and all the bad times, I continue to support the players,” he said. A win after 11 years would indeed have meant a lot for supporters like Njoku.

Soccer Sports

The Palestinian national soccer team: A story of resilience

Palestine’s dream at the AFC Asian Cup ends in the round of 16.

On Tuesday, Jan. 23, the Palestinian national soccer team made history in Qatar just 1,800 km from Gaza, bringing some positive energy to a country ravaged by a war that has seen the death of over 25,000 Palestinians since Oct. 7.

Under the lights in Doha, Palestine scored three goals against Hong Kong to capture their first-ever victory in an AFC Asian Cup match. This win, coupled with a 1-1 draw obtained against the United Arab Emirates five days prior, meant that Palestine also qualified for the Asian Cup knockout stage for the first time in their history.

Sara, whose last name was withheld at her request, is originally from Gaza but now lives in Montreal with her immediate family. 

After witnessing the horrors happening in the Gaza Strip and knowing some of her family is there, she expressed some desolation toward the participation of Israeli athletes in international sports competitions. A ban on Israeli athletes would not have been an unprecedented measure. For example, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, sporting federations such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) banned Russia from participating in sporting events. Although these bans have been partly lifted since, neither the IOC nor FIFA have done the same for Israel.

When she was younger, Sara never expected to see her country represented at the big sporting events. In that sense, she believes the Palestinian national team’s achievements exemplify the Palestinian people’s resilience. “Whenever you see a Palestinian, know that they have worked 1,000 times harder to be where they are today,” she said. 

Some Palestinians are writers, some are journalists, some are poets, and some are soccer players, but they all fight to represent their country, she explained. If she’d had the opportunity to speak with the players and tell them one thing before their round of 16 match against Qatar, it would have been to play as if they were fighting for their lives. 

And fight they did. It was always going to be a hard task for Palestine, who had to face Qatar, the reigning Asian Cup champion and host of the tournament. Despite being the underdog, it was Palestine who would strike first in the 37th minute. After a clever interception by Zaid Qunbar, striker Oday Dabbagh scored his third goal of the tournament with a well-placed shot in the bottom right corner. However, two Qatari goals, one just before and after halftime, would ultimately deny Palestine of an even more historic run in the AFC Asian Cup.

Soccer Sports

CF Montréal: New year, new coach, new hopes.

CF Montréal hopes to bounce back after a disappointing 2023 season.

In 2023, CF Montréal narrowly missed the Major League Soccer (MLS) playoffs on the last day of the season, and lost the Voyageurs Cup final—a cup competition between all professional and some semi-professional Canadian clubs—to the Vancouver Whitecaps. This disappointing season resulted in the club parting ways with head coach Hernán Losada after just one season, citing differing visions concerning the club’s future and style of play. 

On Jan. 9, CF Montréal president Gabriel Gervais unveiled Laurent Courtois as the team’s new head coach and clearly outlined the club’s sporting objectives. “We want to make the playoffs and have the opportunity to fight for the MLS Cup. We want to win the Canadian championship and return to the CONCACAF Champions League,” said Gervais when presenting Courtois.

Laurent Courtois: “It’s almost an adult dream.”

For the past two seasons, Courtois was the head coach of Colombus Crew’s reserve team. There, he led the team to two MLS NEXT Pro Cups, of which they won one. His experience coaching youth teams and developing players was an advantage compared to other candidates for his newly acquired position, considering that CF Montréal had the fourth youngest squad in MLS last season.

However, CF Montréal is a notoriously difficult place for managers, with Courtois being the team’s 10th head coach in 13 years since joining the MLS. Despite having signed a two-year contract, he hopes to stay with the team for a long time, although he knows about the team’s history of quickly firing coaches. “I have promised [the club] two things: an identity and energy. So [whether I stay for] six months, three years, 10 years, I hope, I want the players, the club, the people I work with to develop each other,” he said in his inaugural press conference.

Courtois has clear objectives in terms of what he wants to achieve in Montreal. “What I want to emphasize is individual player development […] especially with that pool of players,” he explained during his inaugural press conference. He also wants his team to have an attractive and recognizable style of play that can clearly be attached to Montreal.

Who’s in, who’s out?

CF Montréal’s squad has changed quite a bit since the end of last season, although it is not quite the exodus of talent as was seen last year. The team’s most significant loss is forward Romell Quioto, off to Tractor S.C. in Iran. Despite an injury-plagued 2023 season, he was still an important player, having scored 38 goals in 94 games for the club. Although he is yet to be numerically replaced, CF Montréal has presumably found their new forward. The club might be considering Uruguayan striker Matías Cóccaro, whom they are heavily linked with. Cóccaro has even already said his goodbyes to the fans of his previous club, Club Atlético Huracán, in Argentina, on social media.

However, CF Montréal’s main changes have come in the wingback positions. On the left, the club has spent US$400,000 in 2024 General Allocation Money (GAM) for former Canadian international Raheem Edwards, who is back in Montreal after a short spell in 2018. On the right, the team has traded Aarón Herrera to D.C. United in exchange for their right wingback, the Brazilian footballer Ruan and US$500,000 GAM in 2024. Both Edwards and Ruan are expected to be starters and improve what was one of CF Montréal’s weaknesses in 2023.

Football Rugby Soccer Sports

These Concordia semi-final results may sting

The men’s soccer, rugby and football teams all exited in the first round of the RSEQ playoffs this past week.

The time has come to start playing indoors again. Fall and summer sports are wrapping up as the weather gets crispier and heads turn towards sports with freshly renewing seasons. 

That being said, it seems our teams are ready to get a head start on hibernation. Three playoff games were played by the Stingers, and all three of them turned out to be losses. 

Men’s Soccer

On Oct. 27, the men’s soccer team played the Université de Montréal Carabins in a tough RSEQ semi-final matchup at the CEPSUM. The Stingers not only had an away disadvantage walking onto the field, they were also the underdogs. Of the seven teams in the RSEQ, the Stingers finished the regular season in fourth place, securing the very last spot of the playoffs, with only five victories out of 12 games. Meanwhile, the Carabins finished the season without a loss. 

The Carabins yet again proved why they averaged over two goals per game throughout the season: efficiency. Even though Concordia outshot them six goals to four in the first half, the home team was able to convert twice, once from a penalty kick by centre back Kareem Sow. 

Tristan Nkoghe jumps for a high ball
Photo Credit: Concordia Stinger Athletics

The Stingers weren’t too disciplined around the pitch, as they outfouled their opponents and picked up three different yellow cards in the second half, seemingly out of frustration. The third was given out less than three minutes after the final deal-sealing goal was scored. The Carabins won 3-0. Surprisingly, they lost in the finals to the 6-5-1 Patriotes of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières last Friday. 

Men’s Rugby

It was more or less the same story for the men’s rugby team, who were just able to squeeze into a playoff spot. Bishop’s 15-25 season finale loss at Stade Percival-Molson pushed the Stingers through by point differential, as both the Gaiters and Concordia finished the season with a .500 win percentage. 

Jack Weller and Willem Nijzink make a tackle.
Photo Credit: Concordia Stingers Athletics

For the semi-final game played this past Sunday, Oct. 29, the Stingers had to face the Piranhas of the École de technologie supérieure, who were invincible in the regular season. Lo and behold, another crushing semi-final away loss as Concordia was vanquished 34-3. Five different players each scored a try on the Piranhas, including third line Xabi Chrit, who won game MVP. On Nov. 5, ÉTS lost 18-17 in the finals to the second place uOttawa Gee-Gees. 


Just about the most exciting game of the RSEQ’s 2023 season took place in Quebec City on Nov. 4 when the Stingers football team faced the Université Laval Rouge et Or for the semi-finals. This time around, the Concordia team had a more even matchup, as the Stingers were facing a two-seed as a three-seed in the playoff bracket. ULaval did not play the dominant season everyone expected them to, as they had taken both of their losses to the Carabins, yet Concordia had beaten the latter in their last game of the season. This matchup was a real shootout. 

It started with a safety for Concordia heading into the third minute of the game, putting the Rouge et Or ahead by two points and setting the Stingers at a disadvantage. In the first drive of the second quarter, starting quarterback Oliver Roy threw an interception to Rouge et Or linebacker Justin Cloutier, who took it to Concordia’s 27-yard line. From there, a pass and a one-yard QB sneak took the Rouge et Or ahead by 9 points, then 10 due to a rouge point. 

Just as a 28-yard kick from all-star kicker Eric Maximuik seemed to restore momentum to the Stingers headed into the second half, substitute quarterback Adrian Guay decided to scramble around the halfway line and fumbled the ball. It was recovered by the opponents’ cornerback Maxym Lavallée, who ran it to the house for 49 yards. Laval led 17-3 after the good kick attempt.

Towards the end of the third quarter, Olivier Roy had been back on the field, and managed to throw a stellar 20-yard pass to veteran fifth-year wideout Ezekiel Tiede for a touchdown. The game was on. The Rouge et Or replied with a 22-yard passing touchdown of their own to widen their lead to 14 points, but that didn’t stop the Stingers. 

Our field general put on a fourth quarter showcase. The very next play, Roy threw a bomb to his trusty wideout Tristan Mancini for 37 yards and then another to Tiede. A couple of handoffs to the running backs, and Roy found the endzone after an eight-yard run. The Stingers defense banded together to shut the Rouge et Or down for a drive amounting to less than 15 yards, and it was Roy’s chance again.

With two and a half minutes left of the game, Roy managed to lead a drive that lasted just over a minute and score a touchdown in six plays, topped by a pass to Tiede for 34 yards into the endzone. Not to mention Roy capped off his night by tying the game and by asserting his sixth point of the night out of six points attempted. The teams tied 24-24 at the end of regulation.

Unfortunately, the Stingers did not have it in them to maintain the progress that they’d made over 60 minutes. A couple of 40+ yard field goals and a touchdown from the Rouge et Or, and Concordia’s season was over. 

A few Stingers players had performances to remember, despite overall shortcomings. Roy had 310 passing yards and the third most rushing yards on the field with 51. Defensively, middle linebacker Loïk Gagné dominated the game with 9.5 tackles, one sack and one tackle for loss. The whole receiver core should be recognized for the work they all put in, Tiede especially. 

It’s an exciting year to be a Concordia fan, although the ending may sting. All three of these teams surpassed what was expected of them. The future seems bright!

Soccer Sports

Heartbreak for Canada as Christine Sinclair plays one last time in Montreal

Canada’s women’s soccer team lost 1-0 to Brazil on Oct. 28 at Saputo Stadium in Montreal.

After Canada was eliminated in the group stage during a disappointing World Cup performance this summer, the women’s national soccer team turns to the 2024 Olympic Games. With qualification secured after two convincing wins against Jamaica in September, the road to redemption continued on Oct. 28 at Saputo Stadium in Montreal for the first of two friendly matches in four days against Brazil.

Record-breaking crowd, disappointing performance

A sold-out crowd of 19,619 people gathered at Saputo Stadium for the game. This attendance figure is a national team record for a friendly match in Quebec, men and women combined. It once again proves the enthusiasm for women’s soccer in Canada. Three years ago, 4.4 million people watched the Olympic triumph in Tokyo and women’s national team matches regularly sell out everywhere in the country.

The crowd gives a standing ovation to Christine Sinclair as she comes on in the 68th minute.
Photo: Félix-Antoine Beauchemin.

It was always bound to be a close affair between the two teams, with Canada ranked 10th in the world and Brazil only one place higher. The local favourites came out strong and dominated the initial minutes. However, as the game progressed, Brazil gradually took control of the match and looked to be a far more dominant team. For example, Canada’s first shot of the second half only came in the 92nd minute. 

Despite this, they looked to be able to hold for a 0-0 draw, notably due to multiple great saves from Canadian goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, who was undoubtedly the team’s best player on Saturday. But Brazil’s domination paid off. In the last minute of the game, Débora ‘Debinha’ Cristiane de Oliveira’s shot ricocheted off two Canadian defenders, giving Sheridan no chance to react in time. The ball bounced over the line, much to the delight of the thousands of Brazil fans also present at the game.

Brazilian legend Marta takes a free-kick.
Photo: Félix-Antoine Beauchemin

Nevertheless, Canada got back on track only three days later, beating Brazil 2-0 in front of another sold-out crowd in Halifax on Halloween night, with goals from Jordyn Huitema and Deanne Rose.

A farewell to the greatest international goalscorer of all time 

On Oct. 20, Christine Sinclair announced that she would retire from the national team at the end of the year. Now aged 40, she played her first game for Canada in 2000. Since then, Sinclair has played 329 games and scored 190 goals, a record for international goals for both men and women. For most of the fans at the game, it was their last chance to see Canada’s legendary number 12 in action. As such, they gave her a standing ovation, lasting over 30 seconds when she entered the game in the 68th minute.

Sinclair’s illustrious career also contains many collective achievements. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, she scored six goals in six games on her way to the bronze medal. She helped the team repeat the feat in Rio in 2016 with another bronze medal. However, the crowning glory of her career came at the 2020 Games in Tokyo, when she captained team Canada to a gold medal.

Soccer Sports

Two games, the Same Unlucky Result for Concordia’s Soccer Teams Against ULaval

Difficult matchday for the Stingers’ soccer teams against ULaval.

Both the women’s and men’s Stingers soccer teams lost 2-1 against Laval on Sept. 22, as the 1973 Loyola Warriors men’s soccer team was celebrated for their national championship win.

Women’s soccer: Proving they belonged

Going into the game, Laval had won all five of their previous games, outscoring their opponents 14-1. With that in mind, Stingers head coach Greg Sutton’s game plan was to be compact defensively with forward Sara Carrière staying up front and poking away at Laval’s defence on counterattacks.

In the first half, the ULaval Rouge et Or had more possession, but were unable to create multiple dangerous chances to score. When they did, however, goalkeeper Rosalie Girouard made some crucial saves. Sutton said she “did well, she kept us in the game […]. She’s just starting to play for us now, and hasn’t played many games at all for us up to this year.” He added that he was pleased with Girouard’s performance and believes that she will improve going forward. Despite the great defence, Concordia also had their fair share of chances in the first half, just missing the goal on a couple of occasions.

The second half started as the first ended: Laval was unable to create dangerous chances. It was finally at the 57th minute that the Rouge et Or opened the scoring after a good cross coming from the left-hand side found an open player at the second post. 

A couple of seconds later, Sara Carrière scored a beautiful goal, dribbling past two defenders and placing her shot perfectly in the bottom-left corner to equalize. Unfortunately, Laval was able to retake the lead ten minutes later. Their one-goal advantage would last until the end of the game, despite pressure from the Stingers to equalize.

Despite the loss, there are positives to take away from this game for the Stingers and their ability to stand up to the best team in the league. “We were just organized defensively, we made it difficult for them to break us down,” Sutton explained. “[Girouard] made a couple saves, but it wasn’t like they outshot us three or four-fold […] we’re gonna build off of it, learn from it and get ready for Sunday.”

Men’s soccer: A frustrating loss with the playoff race heating up

Midfielder Quentin Bourgeais (maroon) setting up a cross.
Photo: Kyran Thicke / Concordia athletics

Before the match, Concordia was two points behind Laval, who held the last playoff qualifying spot. As of October 1, they are tied on points with the Rouge et Or for the fourth and final playoff spot.

The game started at very high intensity, with both teams trying to send long through balls in behind to earn a one-on-one against the other team’s goalkeeper. This worked for the Stingers in the 27th minute when they won a penalty. Unfortunately, the team’s top goal scorer Jared Leheta missed the penalty wide and to the right. Things would not improve for Leheta, who also missed an almost wide-open net 10 minutes later.

Despite that, Leheta won a penalty after getting pushed in the back in the 18-yard box seven minutes into the second half. The penalty was converted by Razvan Colici. However, the tide started turning in Laval’s favour after the goal. Less than twenty minutes later, the Rouge et Or had scored twice to take the lead.

Five minutes after Laval’s second goal, Concordia was reduced to 10 men, after Zackiel Brault received two yellow cards in quick succession, adding up to a red card. Concordia could not equalize down a man, with the game ending 2-1 for Laval.

After the game, backup goalkeeper Tony Awad said: “We have to stick together as a team and we have to keep our heads up.” About the playoff race, Awad said: “We just have to win, there’s no other way to say it or put it […] this is our goal now.” And they did win in their next game, against McGill, where Awad got the start and made nine saves in a shutout win.

The 1973 Loyola Warriors men’s soccer team honoured

Despite the two losses, there was still something to celebrate on Friday. Several members of the 1973 Loyola Warriors men’s soccer team came to the games and were celebrated at halftime of the men’s game for the 50th anniversary of their national championship win. The team was inducted into the Concordia Sports Hall of Fame in 2000, and is one of only four soccer teams, men or women, to receive this honour.

Gary Harvey is a member of the team who was present at the ceremony. He recalls: “We defeated the team that beat us the year before, so it was like we got revenge.” They beat the University of Alberta Golden Bears. The game was decided on penalties, as the teams were unable to separate themselves after the end of both regulation and overtime, where Loyola won 4-3.

Harvey has been involved with soccer his entire life and coached for 45 years. He has observed “a huge difference” in the evolution of soccer in Canada over the last 50 years. Namely, infrastructures like turf fields and indoor winter soccer have allowed a lot more kids to play soccer, which has raised the level of the Canadian game. 

He also explains how during winter, teams could not train when he played. “When we did train, it was in gymnasiums, and the bounce in the gym floor is not the same as when you get to train indoors and on synthetic turf,” Harvey explains. “The calibre of soccer is much better now, it’s really quick and fast compared to when I played […] and soccer is of higher quality now.”

Soccer Sports

Concordia Stingers Women’s Soccer draws 1-1 in Season Opener

Penalty shot goal earn Stingers first point of the season

Following a loss to the Université de Montréal Carabins in the regular season finale of the 2022 Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) season, the Concordia Stingers women’s soccer team aimed for revenge in their 2023 season opener at Concordia Stadium on August 30.

In a game that saw a thunderstorm delay the match by over thirty minutes, anticipation was building on the pitch as the players got set to kick-off the new season.

The first half consisted of back-and-forth play, as both teams’ defence kept scoring opportunities to a minimum. Stingers’ head coach Greg Sutton was pleased with how his team looked coming out to begin the season.

“We did a great job being focused at the start of the game,” said Sutton. “We are still in pre-season essentially, so we are still working on a lot of things, but going up against arguably one of the better teams in the country as they always are, I thought we showed really good character.”

With the first half coming to a close, both teams took the halftime to regroup and get reset for the second half.

Despite a close call on a Carabins hit post, the Stingers found their golden opportunity eight minutes into the half. A penalty shot was rewarded when Stingers striker Sara Carrière was tackled inside the box. With a perfect kick into the lower-left corner, the Stingers struck first and took the lead 1-0.

As the momentum had seemingly shifted to the Stingers, a floating shot taken by Carabins striker Mia Tessier found the top corner from 30 yards out, tying the game 1-1.

The equalizer came just three minutes after Concordia took the lead. Coach Sutton spoke on the conconded goal: “Sure, we could do a better job on closing the ball down, but that was one of those where you have to just tip your hat and move on.”

Stingers’ goalkeeper Anastasia Fox performed superbly, stopping nine shots on goal in the match and earning her team a draw against Montréal.

Despite not leaving victorious in their first game of the season, Sutton shared his expectations for the Stingers moving forward. “Our standards have risen every year that I have coached [at Concordia]—our standards are higher than they were last year. To get a result against [the Carabins] was fine, but we want more. We have that standard of being one of those teams at the top of the league.”

The team will now head across town to face rival McGill Redbirds on their home turf, with kick-off set for 3:30 p.m. on September 3.


 Concordia Stingers Men’s Soccer draws 0-0 in defensive Duel

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.

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