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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!


Vikes dethrone Thunderbirds in CUMRC gold medal game

The Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship (CUMRC) gold medal game didn’t disappoint, as we had to wait until the very last play to declare a winner. The University of Victoria Vikes finally won the battle 21-20.

The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds entered the contest as two-time CUMRC defending champions, and the first-ranked team of the tournament. The Vikes and Thunderbirds knew each other well, as the teams battle often in British Columbia.

The game started well for the Thunderbirds, as they scored two tries and 12 points in the first 15 minutes. However, the Vikes answered with 14 points in four minutes at the end of the first half to take the lead at halftime.

Thunderbirds head coach Curry Hitchborn said at halftime, he told his players they needed to settle down.

“They needed to relax,” Hitchborn said. “I told them the Vikes were there to play, and were going to test us. [They had] to stick to what they knew, keep it simple and not make it hard on ourselves. We did the complete opposite at times.”

The second half offered tight plays from start to finish. After the Thunderbirds scored three points on a penalty kick, teams exchanged tries.

At 21-20 Vikes in additional time, the Thunderbirds had the game’s destiny in their hands. They scored a try in additional time and had to convert for two points. A successful kick meant a win, and missed one meant a Vikes victory.

Vikes head coach Doug Tate said it’s good his team didn’t panic when they were down by 12 points.

“I think we closed the space, Tate said. “They are big runners, so if you get them off their feet, [it helps]. When we had chances to score, we did it. We didn’t give them many chances, as we were very aggressive defensively. We got a few bounces our way today, as they were close [to tying] the game.”

Tate said that being champions feels good for the Vikes. He said that victory feels more special than usual because of the history between the teams.

“I think we didn’t beat them in five years. Some of these guys have been with the Vikes for four or five years, and had never won against the Thunderbirds. For them, to beat that team in the CUMRC final is pretty special.”

On his side, Hitchborn gave a lot of credit to the Vikes. He said they came to play, and offered a massive effort.

“That was the best I’ve ever seen them play in years,” Hitchborn said. “They were everything a championship team needed to be. We play each other so often. It’s really great to see guys on both sides rise to the occasion like they did. It was a brilliant game for them.”


Stingers men’s rugby team loses to the Gaels in CUMRC bronze medal game

The Concordia Stingers men’s rugby team lost its Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship (CUMRC) bronze medal game 31-22 against the Queen’s University Gaels on Sunday morning, which concluded the team’s 2019-20 season.

The Stingers never managed to be in control of the game, as the Gaels took an early lead in the first half and never looked back.

Stingers head coach Craig Beemer said he wishes his players left the field with a better result after the effort they put and the season they had.

“I’m definitely not a participation guy,” Beemer said. “Our goal was the medal, so we didn’t meet our goal. I think you saw on Friday night, as well as in today’s second half, we have earned the right to have a medal, but it just didn’t happen for us today.”

Despite being a unique and great experience for the teams, the CUMRC still has challenges. Beemer said it was tough to go from one game a week, like the team is used to during its regular Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) season, to three games in five days.

That’s where you see the blood, sweat and tears,” Beemer said. “These guys put in so many hours as student-athletes. When the coaching staff and I ask them to do things, I think that’s the toughest part [since they already put in so much time and always give their best effort].”

The Stingers gained some momentum late in the second half, scoring two consecutive tries for the first time of the game. Unfortunately for them, time ran out shortly thereafter. Beemer said having good starts is essential in a tournament like this one, and gave credit to the Gaels for their performance.

“Hats off to the Gaels,” said Beemer. “They played really well, and scored tries when they needed to. Our defence put theirs under a lot of pressure, but they responded really well. They were the better team today.”

Hooker Michael Laplaine-Pereira, who scored the Stingers’s consecutive tries in the second half and was named the Stingers most valuable player of the game, said despite the loss, the team is still happy with their season.

“We developed strong connections between the boys,” Laplaine-Pereira said. “It’s a life experience. We knew it would end at some point this week, and had to give everything we had today. We put everything we did this whole season on the line.”

Laplaine-Pereira said in events like that, where teams face injuries and challenges, the most important thing is to remain in good spirits.

“We’re not just leaving with a loss today,” Laplaine-Pereira said. “We’re leaving with a family, and connections that will stay for a long time.”

The Stingers officially conclude the CUMRC in fourth place, the same position they finished last year when they lost to the University of Victoria Vikes in the bronze medal game.


Feature photo by Laurence B.D.

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