Carabins 1, Stingers 0: Still work to be done
First game in nearly two years shows team still a work in progress
The Concordia Stingers women’s soccer team played their first game in 692 days on Friday evening as they hosted the Université de Montréal Carabins at the Concordia Stadium.
The game didn’t go as planned with the hosts falling 1-0, but that did little to lower Head Coach Greg Sutton’s optimism.
“We knew that we were going to have some cobwebs to clean up and we had to get it out of our system,” said Sutton. “In the first half we weren’t ourselves and at the level we think we could be. That’s part of having such a long layoff and getting back into that competitive atmosphere.”
The Stingers got off to a slow start, finding themselves pinned back in their own half for the majority of the game’s opening and only scraping together a few flashes of offence.
The dam could no longer withstand les Carabins’ offence when forward Mégane Sauvé got a free shot inside the box 15 minutes in and made no mistake.
“We started off a little slow but in the second half we started to pick things up,” said Stingers captain Madeleine Mackenzie. “I think it’ll take a bit of time but I think we’ll get there.”
The rest of the half was near stalemate, with neither team really making an impact above a simple half-chance. Concordia’s best opportunity came when forward Audrey-Ann Cardinal carried the ball from midfield into the box and played a great ball in that would have resulted in a certain goal had it not been intercepted at the last second.
The roster will also have the challenge of being relatively unfamiliar with one another, consisting of 14 players in their rookie season out of 27.
“We’ve mixed in some good veterans and we’re hoping to stay competitive for years to come,” said Sutton. “Part of this whole growing process is you have to get more and more chemistry together. This is a league where you can’t take nights off.”
The second half saw more of the same midfield battle as both teams battled to find space. The first breakthrough came after a driven corner from Montréal forced a brilliant goal line clearance from Chloe Ricciardi.
Not to be outdone, Concordia returned only two minutes later with a side volley from forward Sarah Feola that was soaring into the top corner and forcing a great stop from keeper Catherine Langelier.
The Stingers were unable to muster enough offence and—despite an improved second half—did not do enough to collect points.
“We need to start getting on the ball in better areas,” said Sutton. “I think what we did in the second was win the ball higher up and now it’s just about making sure we can connect on plays like that. We put in a good 45 minutes, now it’s time to make it 90.”
The Stingers will play in an exhibition game against the Carleton Ravens on Sunday, Sept. 12, before hosting the Université Laval Rouge et Or for their second league game of the season on Friday, Sept. 17.