Stinger Soccer Team Getting Back on Track
Rookies, veterans and those still vying for spots on the men’s and women’s soccer teams enjoyed a successful and unprecedented string of pre-season games against Ontario conference opposition over the weekend at Concordia Stadium.
“We’re getting to the point where the more successful programs are, as players are actually considering Concordia as a viable option to play soccer,” said head coach of the men’s team Lloyd Barker.
Over the course of the weekend, the men’s team succumbed to the University of Guelph in a close game that ended 2-1, while Saturday and Sunday featured back-to-back games against Trent University, which the Stingers won 2-0 and 3-1 respectively. The women’s team had an identical schedule to the men and posted an overall record of 1-1-1.
The coach of the women’s team, Jorge Sanchez, said he was pleased with what he saw, noting that there would not be a huge turnover in regards to the roster for the upcoming season.
As for the men’s team, former captain Bryan Bourbonnais was added to the coaching staff in the off-season.
“It was a no brainer to bring Brian on,” said Barker. “If I were to step away, it’s always good to have somebody who has Concordia at heart. He was a very good captain and this is just the next step to continue improving his leadership abilities.”
The men’s team also recruited Dutchman Matthijs Eppinga, a centre forward with a big frame who has experience playing for Franklin Pierce University of the NCAA.
“It goes without saying that he is coming from a football nation,” Barker said of Eppinga after Sunday’s game. “With his experience, we’re getting a player who knows what’s required to succeed at this level. And he’s another big body—I can always take another big body.”
Returning goalkeeper Kyle Prillo-Guaiani, who did not play last season, has also found a spot on the roster and has been training with the team for the past week.
“Because we’re further into camp this year in comparison to previous years, things have come together a lot sooner and that’s ideally what you want as a coach,” said Barker, who plans to finalize his roster before the end of August.
The last three pre-season games left for both the men’s and women’s teams will be played this weekend at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.
This article originally appeared in The Link Volume 31, Issue 02, published August 24, 2010.