Concordia 0, UQAM 0: Both Teams Leave on Even Ground in Stingers Women’s Soccer Home Opener

Stingers Rookie Kathleen Hilario Makes Debut on Home Soil Against UQAM’s Citadins

Stingers rookie Kathleen Hilario made her regular season debut in the team’s home opener Wednesday night. Photo Elisa Barbier

Wednesday night marked the beginning of the Concordia Stingers’ women’s soccer program’s Reseau de sport étudiant du Québec season. With a solid effort on behalf of either side, both teams emerged empty handed, the game ending in a 0-0 draw.

Despite the result, newly appointed master coach of the men’s and women’s teams Greg Sutton said he’s optimistic.

“I think it was a good result,” said Sutton. “The most important thing that I got out of this game is that we put in effort and we worked hard, and that’s what it takes to win in this league.”

Another bright spot in Wednesday’s home opener was first-year player Kathleen Hilario’s U Sports debut. The young midfielder slotted into the starting lineup, as projected by former head coach Jorge Sanchez, and played the majority of the game, subbing off just after the 80 minute mark.

“I’m feeling good,” said Hilario. “Preseason was intense, and so I think for a first game it was good. I worked hard and ran a lot, but I don’t think I fully contributed offensively. It’s the first game so that’s something to work on.”

While Hilario may have her doubts, there’s no question that Sutton was pleased with her performance in his first game. Stingers captain Shannon McFadden shares that sentiment.

“She definitely proved herself,” said McFadden. “She deserves to be on that field, and I’m glad to have her here with us.”

“She’s got that dynamic ability,” said Sutton. “She knows how to move off the ball and she’s a little bit more game-ready and experienced in a sense, as a first year player. She’s going to help us tremendously this year.”

Sutton said Hilario has a solid future ahead of her on this roster; with the right amount of patience and hard work, she could quickly become a core member of the program.

Having captained her Association de soccer de Blainville ligue elite squad for six years straight, she certainly has the leadership chops to do so.

“She’s got the right mindset and it’s going to take her just understanding how to be patient and continuing the hard work,” said Sutton. “That’s the motto we live by, and any university player who does that is successful more times than not.”

Having spent the summer playing in the inaugural season of the Premier ligue de soccer du Québec women’s semi-pro season, this first U Sports game required a bit of adjustment for Hilario.

“I’m not a very physical player, so I have to work on playing a bit more physical,” said Hilario.

Hilario said the PLSQ is very technical and fast-paced, relying less so on the physical aspect of the sport, unlike in U Sports where players don’t shy away from a little bit of contact.

“I think that this game was a very physical game, and I’m not that type of player but I think that if I put my mind to it and play a little bit more physical that I’ll be able to contribute more,” explained Hilario.

The Stingers women’s soccer team looks to get on the scoreboard for the first time this season and come home with a win, as they face off at home against the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes on Friday night at 8:45 p.m. as part of yet another double header for Concordia’s soccer teams.