Tough season for Stingers women’s soccer team

Concordia falls six points after almost making the playoffs in 2012-2013

The 2012-13 season for the Concordia Stingers women’s soccer team saw them make huge strides. They finished with a 6-5-3 record and 21 points, good enough for fifth in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) division. Though they failed to make the playoffs, their record was a major improvement to their 2-9-3 record from the year before. The Stingers saw their head coach, Jorge Sanchez, win a Coach of the Year award as a result of the jump in production.

Coming into the 2013-2014 season though, the Stingers failed to build on that momentum, as they finished with a 5-9-0 record and just 15 points, still in fifth place in the RSEQ, but 12 points short of the fourth and final playoff spot.

Tough season for Stingers women’s soccer team. Photo by Brianna Thicke

It wasn’t all bad for the Stingers, there were many positives to take out of the season. Defenders Shannon Travers and Kayla Myre both made the RSEQ second all-star team at the end of the season. Myre was the team’s leading scorer, and Travers was third in team scoring. Midfielder Alyssa Ruscio was named to the RSEQ all-star team in the indoor season.

Myre is returning to play for Concordia in her fourth season next year,and Ruscio will be back for her second year on the team. But Travers is one of five players leaving the program next season. One thing to remember is Concordia has a young squad, with nine first-year players on their roster this season, including Ruscio, and they could definitely use the veteran Myre to lead the team next season.

Their inexperience creeped up in some games. They played very well against the top team in the RSEQ, the Montreal Carabins, on Sept. 8 for example, but an unlucky bounce for Montreal led to the only goal of the game. They outmatched Montreal in the second half, and hit a crossbar that would have tied the game late in the second half. One month later on Oct. 6, they also played very well against the Carabins in a 2-1 loss. They held a 1-0 lead for most of the game, but allowed two quick goals  in the final minutes to lose 2-1.

Ruscio is known for her defensive play, and having a year under her belt will not only help her own performance, but will help the team keep the ball out of their own net in those close games.

In their indoor season, the Stingers were fairly inconsistent. They finished fourth in the six team league. They earned an impressive 2-0 victory over cross-city rival McGill, tied their next two games against the two bottom teams, Sherbrooke and L’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR), then fell to the two best teams in the RSEQ, Montreal and Laval.

Their 1-2-2 record earned them a playoff matchup against the fifth place UQTR, who finished without a win in the indoor season. The Stingers couldn’t capitalized and lost that game 1-0 and their season was done.

Though the record is not what the Stingers have wanted, the adversity is something to build on. They competed hard against the league’s best and with a few lucky bounces, some of those losses could have turned their way. With that in mind, the Stingers are well poised to make a playoff run next season if they could start winning some of those close games they weren’t winning this season and take advantage of their scoring chances.


Women’s soccer team suffers heartbreaking loss at hands of Carabins

The Concordia Stingers’ women’s soccer team was delivered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss in the final moments of their match versus the Université de Montréal Carabins squad at Concordia Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The loss put a dent in the Stingers’ hopes for a playoff spot, as they are now 10 points behind Sherbrooke, who occupy the fourth and final playoff spot.

The Stingers’ next match is at home, against Université du Québec à Trois Rivières on Friday, Oct. 18. Photo Julian McKenzie

After holding up for the men’s game earlier in the day, the rain began to fall on the pitch just as the game started. As the match went on, the rain started to get worse, progressing from a light drizzle to a chilly, autumn rain.

The first half was largely uneventful, save for chances by both teams that missed the net, or did not particularly perturb either keeper. Given the wet conditions, spectators seemed  more concerned with keeping themselves as dry as possible, than watching the game. Some even began checking scores of the National Football League games and their fantasy football squads.

The second half was a lot more interesting, as Concordia broke out on the offensive with purpose to start the second half.

The Stingers finally broke the deadlock in the 68th minute, when fifth-year defender Philippa ‘Pip’ Lyttle opened the scoring. The crowd definitely got livelier toward the end, with certain parents showing more emotion than others, cheering their kids on.

Concordia seemed on their way to their fourth win of the year, and second in a row, until the 89th minute, when fourth-year defender/midfielder Steffy Roy-Ouellet managed to chip the ball past Stingers’ keeper Saby Dagenais.

The script was seemingly flipped from a well-deserved win to having it snatched in place of a tie game. Alas, it was not to be.

Moments later, in added time, Roy-Ouellet fired a strike into the back of the Concordia net, and a dagger into the hearts of the Concordia faithful who were on hand for the match. It capped off an exciting game, with a result that some wish could’ve been thrown the other way.

The Stingers’ next match is at home, against Université du Québec à Trois Rivières on Friday, Oct. 18.



Offense explodes at home

The Stingers women’s soccer team rebounded from a tough 1-0 loss to the Montreal Carabins last weekend with a solid 4-2 win on Friday night at home against the UQAM Citadins.

Concordia got their first good chance to score in the 11th minute of the first half when forward Melissa Kedro was sent in by herself but Citadins goalie Valérie Labbé came out to stop the play before Kedro was able to get a shot away.

Concordia file photo.

Concordia took a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute of play when defender Kayla Myre’s header found the back of the net off of a Stingers’ corner kick.

The Stingers doubled their lead in the 38th minute when defender Philippa Lyttle’s pass from the side fell right to midfielder Alexandra Dragan, who made no mistake and buried it to give her team the 2-0 lead.

The home team came out strong early in the second-half, quickly making it 3-0 from an easy chip in by Kedro in the 6th minute of the second frame.

The Stingers then seemed to take a step back before scoring their fourth and final goal. In the 31st minute, a UQÀM player was sent on a breakaway, which sent Stingers goalie Saby Dagenais way out of her net. The Citadins player was able to beat Dagenais, leaving her a wide open net to score but her shot hit the post. The play led to a penalty kick, taken by Citadins forward Stéphanie Brien-Lejeune, who capitalized and made it 3-1.

Less than five minutes later, the Citadins were given a chance to reduce the Stingers’ lead to one goal when Brien-Lejeune was awarded another penalty kick. However, this time she hit the post, leaving the score at 3-1 Concordia.

The missed penalty kick seemed to revive the Stingers as they started to push for that fourth goal. Soon after the second penalty kick, a perfect pass from Dragan sent Kedro in all alone but her shot went just wide of the net.

In the 24th minute, Dragan had a chance to score into an open net after receiving a pass from Stingers forward Gabriela Padvaiskas, off a free kick, but she chose to pass in front of the net instead. Unfortunately, a UQÀM player got to the ball before her Stingers teammate was able to tap it in.

With three minutes left in the game, Padvaiskas was left all alone in front of Labbé but her shot went just over the crossbar. Seconds later, Padvaiskas redeemed herself when she sneaked one below the Citadins goalie and made it 4-1 Stingers.

The Citadins managed one last goal in extra time, which ended the game with a 4-2 score.

“We had a great week of practice, we knew what we did well in games last week and we knew what we had to do better today,” said head coach Jorge Sanchez. “A lot of the stuff we did in training this week came out in the game. To score four goals is great. I’m a little disappointed about the two goals [against].”

“I think we possessed the ball better and we played intelligent,” said Dagenais. “We practised a lot of our offense because we were struggling to put the ball in the net, so we worked a lot on that and it paid off with four goals.”

The team will play host to Université de Laval on Friday, Sept. 20 at 8:30 p.m.


Carabins serve Stingers second loss of the season

The half was close to ending when the Carabins came near to doubling their lead. In the 39th minute, Virginie Labossiere’s shot was stopped by Dagenais. Photo by George Menexis.

The Concordia Stingers came close to a tie but fell short against the Montreal Carabins, losing 1-0 in their second game of the season, Sunday, Sept. 8.

After losing 2-1 in their opening game of the season on Friday, Sept. 6 against Bishop’s, the Stingers came to the Cepsum Centre looking for results against the Carabins.

“We’re a young team that came off a really disappointing result on Friday, we really shouldn’t have lost, and if played like this on Friday, we would’ve won,” said Stingers head coach, Jorge Sanchez.

They knew it would not be an easy game, with the Carabins being one of the highest ranked teams in the country. Still, they came in as an attacking force and were able to keep up with the high-seeded team.

After a few chances on either end, it was the shot from Chloe Malette in the 14th minute that was unluckily deflected off a Concordia defender and into the net that had Concordia keeper, Saby Dagenais, jumping the wrong way.

“Considering it’s one of the best teams in the country, the only difference was a deflected goal,” said a disappointed Sanchez.

Concordia continued to press, not letting the fluke goal bring down their morale. In the 32nd minute, after a few easily stopped free kicks, Concordia’s Alexandra Dragan had the keeper beat but couldn’t beat the swarm of defenders that came rushing in to protect the net.

The half was close to ending when the Carabins came near to doubling their lead. In the 39th minute, Virginie Labossiere’s shot was stopped by Dagenais. Laurianne Garant-Saine grabbed the rebound and shot off the crossbar. The game went into the break with a 1-0 score.

Concordia continued to press in the second half. They completely outscored the Carabins on corners and on free kicks, and came close to equalizing in the 79th minute when the cross was headed onto the crossbar by Stingers Gabriela Padvaiskas.

Dagenais had an exceptional game, making two key saves in the second half that had the crowd gasping at the Cepsum Centre, and that kept the Stingers in it until the very end.

The home team also missed quite a few chances because they were offside, something they had a hard time avoiding for most of the match. At the end, it was quite frustrating for the Carabins offense, which resorted to crosses in order to avoid the trap.

“The second half they didn’t really do a lot, we just missed very opportunistic chances around the box,” said Sanchez. “The other team was resorting to grabbing shirts and pushing, which shows that we have the pace to keep up with anybody.”

The Stingers next game will be Friday, Sept. 15 at home against UQAM.


Up and down indoor season for women’s soccer team

Concordia Stingers women’s soccer team play against the Montréal Carabins. Concordian file photo

The Concordia Stingers women’s soccer team had mixed results in this year’s indoor season. The team was looking to build on a decent fall season, in which they barely missed the playoffs.

The indoor season started with three home fixtures against McGill, Sherbrooke and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. In the season opener against rivals McGill, Concordia was on the wrong end of a three-nil score line.

Head coach Jorge Sanchez’s side stepped up their next two home matches, earning a 1-1 draw against Sherbrooke on Jan. 27 and picked up a deserved 3-1 victory against the Patriotes.

The following three matches to end the season were on the road to Montréal, UQAM and Laval. The Stingers struggled against the Carabins on Feb. 10 as they allowed two goals right before halftime. They would allow another in the second half to lose 3-0.

The weekend that followed, the Stingers made up for the big loss by hammering the UQAM Citadins four-nil. This was Concordia’s first clean sheet of the season and biggest victory.

In the final match of the season, the maroon and gold had a tricky road encounter against the Laval Rouge et Or in Quebec City. With both teams tied in fourth, the winner would secure home field in the playoffs. Concordia was handed a massive 7-0 loss. This was their worst loss in both the fall and winter seasons.

The fifth-place Stingers side had to rematch the Rouge et Or in the first round of the playoffs. ConU was unable to learn from their previous match and lost 3-0.

Concordia’s record, not including the playoffs, ended at two wins, three losses and one draw.

The Stingers have some positive and negative points to take from this season.

Going into the season Sanchez made it very clear his side was trying to ensure a more attacking style of play. The tactic had some pros and cons. When the team did score, they were able to usually score over two goals in those matches. The only down side was the Stingers only scored in three of their matches.

Concordia was shutout four times, including the playoff match against Laval. The Stingers ended the regular season with eight goals for and 15 against in their six matches. Half of these goals were scored by striker Jennifer Duff, who was named second team all-star by the league.

The goals against should worry the team going forward. Allowing an average of 2.5 goals per game will always make winning tough. The Stingers will need to tighten up the back ahead of the fall season.

Sanchez was trying to get his side playing attacking soccer, but it didn’t work as well as he would have hoped. Concordia does have one of the best strikers in the league, but the team will need even more firepower if they want to score goals consistently.

Focusing on the back line should be a priority. Employing defensive tactics doesn’t necessarily mean the team will be weaker than the opposition, but would rather make the team better organized and allow fewer goals. Conceding less will give ConU more chances of picking up points each match.

The maroon and gold will have until August to rest and recruit new players before the fall season begins in early September.



Stingers blanked against league-leading Carabins

After a win at home against the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes last week, the Concordia Stingers women’s soccer team tried to make it two in a row on the road against the Montréal Carabins. Complexe Sportif Marie-Victorin was the venue for this Sunday’s late afternoon match.

After a win at home against the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes last week, the Concordia Stingers women’s soccer team tried to make it two in a row on the road against the Montréal Carabins.

The home Carabins side came out very strong from the opening kickoff. Five minutes in, Catherine Charron-Delage dribbled down to the right side corner and hit a low cross to an oncoming teammate. Despite connecting with the cross, the ball flew way over the crossbar.

Throughout the match, the Stingers were exposed countless times on the flanks. If not for the numerous offside calls and poor finishing, the Carabins could have scored many more goals.

In the 39th minute, the Carabins got their deserved goal. A cross found its way to Pascale Ducas inside the penalty area. She quickly turned and fired her left-footed shot past Concordia goalkeeper Saby Dagenais.

In the 45th minute, seconds before halftime, another Montréal cross created confusion in the Concordia box, leaving Charron-Delage with an easy tap-in on the goal line.

The Carabins took a 2-0 lead into halftime. Concordia played a lot better in the second half, but their level of play was still not where it needed to be.

In the 54th minute, Ducas received a through ball and managed to dribble past the last Concordia defender. Her shot went a few feet past the post.

Seven minutes later, Ducas was at it again for the Carabins. This time, Dagenais made a big stop on her shot from in-close. Ducas’s follow-up rebound hit the post and a Stingers defender was able to clear the zone.

In the 71st minute, the Carabins added their third and final goal. The ball made its way to Steffy Roy-Ouellet in the middle of the field. From 25 yards out, she fired a dipping shot over Dagenais and into the top corner of the goal.

Concordia played their best football in the final 15 minutes of play. Unfortunately, they could only manage weak shots towards the Montréal net.

The final whistle blew with the Carabins leaving with a deserved 3-0 clean sheet win.

Despite the Carabins breaking through the Stingers back line on multiple occasions, Stingers head coach Jorge Sanchez said the focus in this match was on the offence. He made some tactical changes, but admits his side was still weak in the attacking third.

“We could have come out and played very defensively, sat back, and taken away the flanks, but we wanted to go after them,” said Sanchez. “I told the team we’re playing to win every game.”

“I found we were able to bring the ball out of the back well,” he said. “We’re connecting well between the defenders and midfielders by not just kicking balls over the top. So now, the next part is obviously integrating the wingers and the forwards.”

Concordia will look to regroup next Saturday Feb. 16, against the UQÀM Citadins. The game will start at 4 p.m. at the Complexe Sportif Marie-Victorin.


Looking back on the Stingers soccer teams

Photo from Flickr.

The 2012-13 soccer season at Concordia was one of the best of the past few years with both the men’s and women’s teams vastly improving compared to previous seasons. Although finishing the regular season in last place, the men’s team catapulted into the playoffs due to roster problems with McGill, Université de Montréal and Sherbrooke. The women’s team was two wins away from the post-season.

Men’s soccer

Headed by a technical staff featuring head coach Lloyd Barker and assistants François Bastien and Greg Sutton, the Stingers men’s soccer team had playoff expectations before the start of the year.

After dropping the season-opener 0-5 to Université de Montréal, Concordia was able to bounce back and go undefeated for the next three matches. Five straight losses after that crushed the team’s hopes of making the playoffs.

The men’s side ended the season with two victories, eight losses and two draws. Days after the end of the regular season, McGill and Montréal were forced to forfeit most of their wins for using an ineligible player. Both sides, therefore, were given losses for every match the ineligible players participated in. As a result, the Stingers were given three more victories and ended the season with a new record of five wins, six losses and one draw.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Stingers lost to the first-place Laval Rouge et Or one-nil. An own goal right before halftime was the difference.

Striker Andrew Bryan led the team in scoring with five goals in nine appearances. He was named to RSEQ’s first all-star team and was named a second team all-Canadian by the CIS.


Women’s soccer

The women’s soccer team was the better-of-the-two team this fall. Head coach Jorge Sanchez and assistants Alex Eskanazi, David Cerasuolo and Sabrina Cerasuolo led the team to a record of six wins, five losses and three draws. The team’s 21 points was their best since 2005.

Like the men’s team, the women’s team lost their opening game to Université de Montréal by the same 0-5 scoreline. In the next three matches, the team would collect two wins and one draw. Concordia remained in the playoff hunt for the entire season by never losing more than two matches in a row.

The team’s playoff hopes came down to the final match of the season. They faced the Laval Rouge et Or, who were three points ahead and occupied the final place in the standings. With a victory, Concordia would have swapped places with Laval. Unfortunately, the Stingers lost the game 0-2 at home.

Striker Jennifer Duff was a key component to the team’s success. She ended the season with 12 goals, which was the second highest in the league. Duff was the only Stingers player named to RSEQ’s all-star team.


Both the men’s and women’s team will take the months of November and December off before returning in January for the RSEQ interior season. The action starts on Sunday, Jan. 13, when the women’s team plays the McGill Martlets at the Stinger Dome. The men’s team plays right after at 3 p.m. against the Redmen.


Concordia falls to Laval in must-win game

It’s been years since Concordia’s women’s soccer team made the playoffs. This season, it came down to the final game on Sunday to officially eliminate the team from playoff contention.

The Stingers lined up with the same 4-4-2 formation as usual. Melissa Kedro partnered with the team’s leading goal scorer Jennifer Duff up front. Shauna Zilversmit, Elizabeth Allard, Valerie Ishak and Gabriela Padvaiskas formed the midfield. At the back, Alexandra Dragan, Shannon Travers, Philippa Lyttle and Kayla Myre played ahead of Saby Dagenais in goal.

Laval were the stronger side from the start. The visitors forced Concordia to defend for most of the first half. The Stingers were able to defend well by staying organized and with their compressed playing.

The Rouge et Or had the first real chance of the match. In the 18th minute, a corner kick from the right bounced inside the six-yard box. Concordia’s Ishak made two great blocks with her body to deny a goal.

Five minutes later, Laval would get the opening goal. From another corner, the ball flew to an unmarked Frédérique Paradis. Her header towards goal was tipped in by teammate Gabrielle Lapointe.

In the 28th minute, the Stingers were close to grabbing the equalizer. Duff controlled a through ball and set off towards goal. A last minute slide tackle by a Laval defender inside the penalty area, thwarted the attack.

Before the first half was over, Laval had a few more quality chances to double its lead. With one minute remaining, Dagenais had to make a massive save by denying a Laval player from point blank range. She ended up making a total of eight saves in this encounter.

In the second half, knowing only a win would save the season, the Stingers came out firing on all cylinders. In the 60th minute, Duff had a chance to tie the game with her shot from outside the box. The ball bounced by everyone, including the Laval goalkeeper, but ended up hitting the right goal post.

Seconds later, on the other side of the pitch, Laval would make Concordia pay for the miss. After making a good run, Léa Chastenay-Joseph was able to receive a long ball and dribbled alone on a breakaway. She made no mistake sliding the ball under Dagenais and into the Stingers’ goal.

The rest of the match was very physical, but the maroon and gold was unable to get back into the game. This loss in the final game officially ended the Stingers’ season.

“We’ve overcome a lot this year in terms of injuries and players learning new positions,” said head coach Jorge Sanchez. “We got some results, but we just ran out of steam at the end.”

Concordia played an organized match, but a few slip-ups cost them two goals. Having a bit of luck would have also been nice, as Duff’s shot off the post would have completely changed the game if it went in the net.

“We hit a post, and 30 seconds later, they scored. I think that was the game right there,” said Sanchez. “We would have had momentum and we would have been one mistake away on their behalf from getting a goal to go ahead.”

With the loss, Concordia ends their season with six wins, five losses and three draws, good enough for 21 points. This fifth place finish is the Stingers’ highest since 2007.


Concordia moves to within one point of the playoffs

After a 4-0 win against the Bishop’s Gaiters on Friday night, the Concordia’s women’s soccer team returned home to face the UQÀM Citadins on Sunday afternoon.

Concordia came into this match needing all three points to stay close to the playoffs. The Stingers found themselves in fifth place prior to the start of the match. UQÀM was already mathematically eliminated from playoff contention and were playing for pride.

In the first meeting of the season, Concordia defeated the Citadins 4-0 at UQÀM. Stingers head coach Jorge Sanchez was hoping for a similar result.

The first half was quiet with both sides only having a couple of chances each. The Stingers threatened first in the sixth minute when midfielder Melissa Kedro found space inside the box. Her shot went sailing over the bar.

In the 24th minute, the maroon and gold thought they opened the scoring. A scramble in the UQÀM box led to the ball crossing over the goal line. The referee however spotted an infraction and the goal was denied.

The Citadins had their two chances later in the half. Stingers goalkeeper Brittany O’Rourke made a good save on one of the chances.

Although Concordia seemed to be more in control than UQÀM, both teams went into the halftime break in search of the first goal.

In the 59th minute, the fans at Concordia Stadium thought they’d see the first goal. Kedro found herself alone inside the box, but she was unable to get a shot off.

Six minutes later, the deadlock was finally broken. Concordia worked their way into the UQÀM half and managed to get the ball inside the box. Stingers striker Jennifer Duff got the ball inside the rolled her close-range shot under the UQÀM goalkeeper.

The goal gave Concordia momentum and they dominated until the final whistle. Duff and Kedro each had opportunities to double the team’s lead, but the Citadins managed to defend the chances.

Finally, in the 84th minute, the Stingers would seal the win. Kedro dribbled down the left flank and sent in a cross. The ball struck a UQÀM defender’s hand and the referee had no choice but to award the penalty kick. Duff stepped up and converted the penalty with ease.

Duff has been in great form as of late. After a hat trick on Friday, Sunday’s two goals takes her season tally to 12 goals. She is currently one goal behind the league lead.

“It’s always nice to score,” she said. “I think the main thing was that we won our games. That was the goal for the weekend.”

Sanchez understands how important this win means to his side. He said without the victory, his team would have trouble catching up to the last playoff spot.

“I told the players after the game that I wouldn’t bet against us in the playoffs,” he said. “Whether we get in or not, I’m proud of them. I’m proud of the way they worked.”


The 2-0 win now sees Concordia in touching distance of the playoffs. The team heads to Sherbrooke on Friday evening before playing Laval at home on Sunday afternoon. Laval sits in third place in the league, two points ahead of the Stingers.


Late goal puts Carabins on top

The Stingers women’s soccer team gave first place Université de Montreal Carabins a run for their money but came up short in a 3-2 loss on Sunday afternoon at Concordia Stadium.

The last time these teams met this season, the Carabins beat the Stingers by a score of 5-0. The team has substantially improved and has one thing they didn’t have in the first game, according to head coach Jorge Sanchez.

“A lot of what we have more of is confidence,” said Sanchez. “Results get confidence and confidence gets results.”

This loss is the first for the Stingers in five games. Their last loss came on Sept. 23 against Sherbrooke. Since then, they won and and tied twice and lost once, including today’s result.

“It’s tough, we’ve been on a good run,” said Sanchez. “We took goals from Laval, we took points from McGill, and taking points against them would’ve been a great accomplishment. They’re the second ranked team in the country.”

The game started with both teams getting their equal share of chances. Stingers keeper Saby Dagenais kept the score even when she pulled off an amazing fingertip save in the 22nd minute.

However, the Carabins did manage a goal in the 27th minute. Samantha Gauthier showed great individual skill, splitting the Stingers defence with a burst of speed to smoothly put it over the keeper with a nice touch.

Concordia worked hard to get back into the game, and they got their chance with a set of corners in the 32nd minute. Philippa Lyttle had her volley blocked after a corner, leading to another one. She then got the ball in the box from the second corner kick, spun around, and placed it in the bottom corner. The game was tied at one apiece.

The second half started in the same fashion as the first, both teams getting their fair shares of opportunities. A good set of runs on the wing by Stingers forward Melissa Kedro gave Concordia two good chances to take the lead, but both were parried by a strong Carabins defensive line.

The deadlock broke when Carabins midfielder Éva Thouvenot-Hébert hit a free kick from 35 yards out in the 58th minute that eluded the Stingers keeper and found its way in the back of the net.

The Stingers proved that they’re capable of coming back from behind. A partial break from Stingers Gabriela Padvaiskas was impressively saved by the Carabins keeper. The time was quickly winding down.

After a Concordia corner was cleared successfully by Montreal’s defense, a quick counter from the Stingers defenders led to Padvaiskas having her shot trickle into the back of the net in the 73rd minute.

The game remained tied, but the Carabins got more chances, hitting a crossbar and a post in the process. As time winded down, the unthinkable happened. A Carabins player came in from the left side, cut in perfectly, and hit the bar. The rebound was smoothly put in by Carabins striker Isabelle Dumais.

Despite the loss, coach Sanchez said he was happy with the game.

“We were five minutes away from tying a great team,” he said. “We were competitive, we fought hard and we stayed in the game. I’m very proud of the girls.”

The Stingers find themselves four points out of a playoff spot with four matches remaining. The next game is on Oct. 19 when they travel to play the last place Bishop’s University.


Concordia defeats McGill for the first time in 10 years

Photos by Derek Drummond, courtesy McGill Athletes & Recreation

History was made for Concordia’s women’s soccer team on Thursday night. The team visited Percival-Molson Stadium for the second leg of back-to-back matches against the McGill Martlets. Jennifer Duff’s goal in the second half brought the Stingers to victory.

The Stingers came into this match shorthanded after missing players due to injury as well as other reasons. Head coach Jorge Sanchez had to make a few adjustments to his team’s starting line. Duff and Gabriela Padvaiskas paired up once again as striker. Shauna Zilversmit, Elizabeth Allard, Kayla Myre and Melissa Kedro were in the midfield. Valerie Ishak was a new face to the back line. The usual centre midfielder played as a defender with Alexandra Dragan, Philippa Lyttle and Shannon Travers. Saby Dagenais got the start in goal.

Concordia had a poor opening 45 minutes. McGill threatened with chance after chance, but was ultimately unable to get a clear shot on goal. The Martlets controlled the play from the opening kickoff and attacked through flanks.

McGill’s attacking trio of Julia Conzon, Hannah Rivkin and Meghan Bourque were responsible for all of the Martlets’ eight threatening scoring chances. Most plays came from crosses, however, the ensuing shots or headers were never on target.

The Stingers new back line was busy all half, defending waves of McGill attacks. Fortunately, the team was able to keep the score leveled at the interval.

In the 50th minute, the home side was close to finally getting the first goal of the match. Rivkin controlled a pass, cut towards the goal and curled a left-footed shot inches from the top corner.

On the hour mark, Concordia would make the most of their only significant opportunity. Duff received a flick-on pass by Myre in the midfield. The redirected ball split McGill’s two centre backs leaving Duff alone with the goalkeeper. Concordia’s leading scorer made no mistake slotting in her seventh goal of the season.

In the 77th minute, a bad Concordia foul gave McGill a free kick from a dangerous location near the Stingers goal. The kick was struck from the left and was heading straight for the near side’s top corner. Dagenais made a spectacular diving save denying the Martlets once again. McGill ended up putting the rebound in, but the goal was cancelled due to an offside. Dagenais would end up getting ‘player of the game’ honours.

McGill kept threatening and ultimately could not finish any of their chances. Concordia’s 1-0 win over the Martlets is the first time the team has been able to beat their rivals since 2002. The Stingers beat McGill in a penalty shootout in the semi-finals that year.

“We have a game plan and we’re going to play to our strengths,” said Sanchez. “We’re going to give up a lot of possession and chances. Our goal is not to give up chances from in close, to not make key mistakes in our third of the field and to take advantage of the few chances we get. And we did.”

With the win, Concordia is undefeated in their last four matches. The team currently sits in fifth place and one point out of the playoffs.

The Stingers will look to carry this confidence into their next match on Sunday against league-leaders Montreal Carabins at Concordia Stadium. Kickoff is at 3 p.m. following the men’s game.


Concordia comes back to earn a draw against McGill

Concordia’s women’s soccer team was back at home after a two-game road trip over the weekend. They faced the McGill Martlets on Wednesday in a rescheduled match from Sept. 14. That game was cancelled due to poor weather conditions.

Coach Jorge Sanchez used a familiar starting lineup for this derby match. Jennifer Duff and Gabriela Padvaiskas started up front as strikers. Shauna Zilversmit, Valerie Ishak, Kayla Myre and Melissa Kedro completed the midfield. Saby Dagenais got the start in goal. She was protected by defenders Alexandra Dragan, Shannon Travers, Philippa Lyttle and Lindsey Brooks.

The Wednesday night match started well for the visiting McGill side. The first scoring chance of the night came 11 minutes in. From around 25 yards out, defender Kelsey Wilson curled a free kick just past the right post.

McGill continued to dictate play. The visitors quickly transitioned up the pitch and were able to find gaps in the midfield. In the 20th minute, Martlets forward Meghan Bourque found lots of time and space in the middle and decided to unleash a rocket towards the ConU goal. Her strike from 30 yards out touched the crossbar and bounced very close to the goal line. The assistant referee deemed the ball to have completely crossed the goal line and the point was awarded.

The Martlets almost doubled their lead three minutes before the break as a free-kick from the right side found defender Bahar Sansar alone in front and she easily beat Dagenais. Fortunately for the Stingers, the assistant referee had his flag up signaling an offside.

Concordia was much improved in the final 45 minutes. Eleven minutes into the second half, Kedro had a good chance to test McGill’s goalkeeper from atop the box. The chance was squandered as the ball skipped past her foot.

The miss would prove to be costly as the Martlets went up 2-0 off a free kick down in the corner of the Concordia half. Sansar whipped in a ball that ended up flying over everyone in the box and into the top corner of the goal. Dagenais had little chance to stop the perfectly placed shot.

Despite being down two goals, the Stingers never gave up in the match. In the 63rd minute, they were rewarded with a penalty kick for a handball infraction inside McGill’s penalty area. Duff, Concordia’s leading scorer, made no mistake from the spot.

Seven minutes later, the maroon and gold would find the equalizer. From a free kick from the right side, Kedro got on the end of the kick and accurately placed her header into the corner of the McGill goal.

There would be no more goals to finish of the match. With the draw, Concordia moves to within one point of the final playoff spot in the RSEQ conference. They are trailing the Laval Rouge et Or.

“I’m proud of how hard we fought,” said Sanchez of his team. “We didn’t get down, we kept going. When we got the penalty, we had enough time left where we knew it would be interesting and we scored a great goal right after.”

With six matches to go, Concordia is in a good position to qualify for the playoffs. It’s been more than five years since the team last made it. The Stingers will need to continue to pick up points in their remaining fixtures.

“Our goal is to get four points between this game and next week’s game against McGill,” Sanchez added. “We got one, now we have to get the three next week.”


Concordia’s next match is on Oct. 11 at 6:30 p.m. The team travels to McGill for round two to try and settle this stalemate.

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