A Night of Firsts
Men’s Soccer Marks First Win in Convincing Fashion
Striker Matthijs Eppinga’s two-goal performance led Concordia’s men’s soccer team to its first points of the season in Friday’s 3-1 thrashing of the third-placed UQTR Patriotes at Concordia Stadium.
“It’s nothing short of what they deserve,” said Stingers head coach Lloyd Barker. “It was a convincing win and I think
the scoreline should have had an even wider margin.”
Eppinga was instrumental in the men’s win. Not only did he score in the 49th and 65th minutes of play as well as throw in
an assist, but he recorded six shots on the night and was named the Stingers’ MVP for the sixth game in a row.
“[Eppinga] played an exceptional match and he changed the game,” said UQTR head coach Pierre Clermont. “I find it a pity that we were on the receiving end of Concordia’s first win, but it is certainly a team that could go a lot further than where it is now.”
Barker’s lineup for Friday’s game featured some changes, including his choice to start second-year player Khalid Ismail in goal. Ismail was beaten only once during the game when UQTR’s Robin Manceau swung in a free kick from the right side to an unmarked Geoffrey Jouvin in the box 26 minutes into the first half.
Rough challenges thrown either way led to eight cautions being issued on the night. What had to be the harshest tackle occurred at the 40-minute-mark when Patriote Marc-Antoine Simard’s two-footed lunge at Stinger Enos Osei left the midfielder in a heap for five minutes, before finally being escorted off the field on a stretcher.
As a result of the lengthy pause, referee Bedik Charchafian added five minutes of stoppage time to the first half. Concordia’s Claude-Arthur Diesse took full advantage of the allotted time when he accepted a through ball on the left of the area from his attacking counterpart Eppinga and slid a shot into the unguarded net to even the score at 1-1.
Eppinga quickly made his mark on the match in the second half after being on the end of a ball from Diesse, identical to that of which Eppinga had sent the goalscorer’s way in the first half. Eppinga made sure to stay onside and then rounded Patriotes goalkeeper Vincent Guay-Côté to slot in the winning goal.
“After five games of losing, you start questioning whether you have a good team. But today we showed that we do have quality when we work hard together,” said Eppinga, following the game.
Both teams became increasingly aggressive as time wore on. In the space of three minutes, the Patriotes incurred three bookings, had their goalscorer Jouvin sent off and saw Eppinga convert from the penalty spot to give the Stingers a two-goal cushion.
With only 10 men, the Patriotes kept pushing forward for goals. However, the Stingers maintained their composure and were able to see out the win for the last 25 minutes.
Like the women’s team, the men will enjoy a 10-day break from regular-season play before welcoming
the Sherbrooke Vert et Or to Loyola Campus on Oct. 15.
Women’s Soccer Squeaks by Last-Placed UQTR
The Concordia women’s soccer team ensured its first victory of the season through a 74th minute strike from midfielder Sarah Sullivan on Oct. 1 at Loyola Campus against the winless UQTR Patriotes.
“We put Sully [Sullivan] back in her natural position for her first day back and she put the ball in the back of the net,” Stingers head coach Jorge Sanchez said. “You have a player like Catrina [Guglielmucci]—one of our captains—who played the last 15 minutes after we scored. It’s a thankless job to be sitting on the bench for 75 minutes and have to come in when the game is on the line and defend, but they [the players] did their job.”
Both teams have had their share of troubles finding points this season, which is why UQTR coach Ghislain Tapsoba was frustrated with Friday’s loss.
“For sure a victory would help restore confidence because that’s what we’re lacking at the moment,” said Tabsoba, who assumed the role of head coach during the absence of Canadian national team member Marie-Ève Nault. Nault had played in an international friendly against China a day earlier in Toronto and was unable to attend the game.
Concordia ‘keeper Andrea Davidson deservedly posted the clean sheet for the Stingers, as she was forced to make a monster save off Patriote Lizanne Castonguay’s boot in the 78th minute.
“It’s our time to win. This is the turning point in the season—it was last year and it will be this year,” said Davidson, who only began playing goalkeeper for Concordia this season.
Sullivan almost opened the scoring in the 12th minute of play as she embraced a poorly cleared ball on the edge of the area, but failed to hit it firmly enough to beat UQTR goalkeeper Stéphanie Rousseau.
While Concordia continued to produce chances in the first half, the Patriotes’ attack was impaired when striker Jessica Lavallée had to be substituted in the 26th minute due to injury, and would only return later in the match.
“We created some great chances in the first half, which we hadn’t done in the last few games. We just weren’t opportunistic at the right moments,” Sanchez said of his team, which went into the break tied 0-0.
Lavallée returned for the second half and nearly scored in the 54th minute as she shrugged off a defender just outside the 18-yard-box and guided a shot right at the crossbar.
Sanchez decided to make a substitution in the 63rd minute by deploying midfielder Hannah Lise for defender Caroline Gilbert, and the attack-driven swap paid off in the 74th minute.
Lise raced deep into the final third down the left side and used her left foot to hook a ball low and hard to the top of the penalty arc. Both an onrushing Concordia forward and a UQTR central defender missed the ball and goalkeeper Rousseau came out to collect. Unfortunately for her, the ball found its way to Sullivan, who had been closing in on the right side of the area.
The Stingers’ midfielder then took the ball in stride and lobbed it inches above Rousseau’s head for what would be the game-winning goal.
The Stingers finished the weekend with a 2-0 win at Bishop’s and will have more than a week to recuperate for their next match against Sherbrooke on Oct. 15.
This article originally appeared in The Link Volume 31, Issue 08, published October 5, 2010.
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