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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!

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.”

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