Starting Off on the Wrong Foot
Stingers Lose Season Opener 5-1 to UdeM
Greg Sutton’s head coaching debut was one to forget.
The Concordia Stingers men’s soccer team lost their season opener 5-1 to the Université de Montréal Carabins on Sunday.
“We made some individual mistakes and [had] some mental breakdowns,” said Sutton following his first game as the Stingers’ new head coach. “But overall I’m fairly pleased with the way the guys performed. We just have to continue to try improve on every aspect of the game.”
The Stingers had trouble moving the ball up the field, spending most of the first half on their own side defending a relentless UdeM attack.
It was an attack that eventually proved too much to handle for Concordia, as in the 38th minute defender Joseph Couto would get called for a foul after taking down Montréal striker Alexandre Kénol just outside the Stingers’ 18-yard box.
Midfielder Maxime Laurey made no mistake on the subsequent free kick, bending the ball over and around the Concordia wall and into the net for the goal and a 1-0 Carabins lead.
But the goal didn’t deter the Stingers, as in the second half the team finally found its rhythm, making quick one- and two-touch passes up the field and into the feet of forward Gabriel Quinn, who needed just one touch to make it past two defenders, tap the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal and tie the game at 1-1 in the 48th minute.
Momentum quickly shifted back to the Carabins, however, as just 10 minutes later midfielder Adama Sissoko headed a throw-in just under the crossbar to give his side a 2-1 lead.
From there, the Carabins showed why they’re the Canadian Interuniversity Sport’s fifth-ranked team in the nation, scoring three goals in the game’s final 20 minutes to clinch the win.
Despite the loss, the Stingers don’t believe the final score was reflective of their performance.
“I feel like it wasn’t a 5-1 game,” said second-year striker Andrew Bryan. “I thought we played probably the best soccer [of the year so far],” he added, referring to the team’s preseason.
“It was just mental lapses. They took advantage of our small little mistakes and they made us pay for it.”
The Stingers next take the field Friday, Sept. 13 at Concordia Stadium, where they’ll face the Université du Québec à Montréal Citadins in their home opener. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m.