Graduating from the Hive

10 Women’s Soccer Players Tie in Their Final Game at Concordia Stadium vs. UQAM

The Stingers women’s soccer team featured ten players who played their final home game at Concordia Stadium this past Friday. Standing in top row, starting from the left, midfielder Kimberly Dextras-Romagnino, defender Elizabeth McDonald, midfielder Kayla Myre, forward Gabriela Padvaiskas, defender Stephanie Liganor, defender Lindsey Brooks, and coach Jorge Sanchez. Standing in bottom row, from the left, midfielder Melissa Kedro, midfielder Rachel Dragan, midfielder Shauna Zilversmit, and midfielder Alex Dragan. Photo Mariana Voronovska

The Concordia Stingers’ women’s soccer team will be losing some players to graduation following their season finale a few weeks from now.

Teams usually see a handful of players graduate every year—a starting midfielder here, a back-up striker there. When the Stingers’ season ends in a few weeks however, they’ll have to replace more than just a few members of their 2014 squad: 10 Stingers are set to graduate at the end of the season, nearly an entire starting roster’s worth of players.

“I’m obviously going to miss it,” said Brooks, in her fifth year with the Stingers. “I’ve made a bunch of great friends here. Our team is so close, it’s like a family, and I’m going to miss it a lot.

“I don’t live in Montreal, but if I’m ever in the area, I’ll definitely come support the women’s soccer team,” she added.

“It’s part of the process,” said head coach Jorge Sanchez. “You know when you recruit players that you have them for a short period. This is a unique year in that we have so many [departing players], and what makes it more unique is that of the 10 that are here, seven actually came together [in the same year].”

The graduating players suited up for their last home game of the season—and of their Canadian Interuniversity Sport careers—this past Friday night, helping lead the Stingers to a 1-1 draw against the UQAM Citadins.

“It hasn’t really hit home yet,” said outgoing co-captain and fourth-year student Alex Dragan. “I’m going to miss it, definitely.”

Dragan’s sister and fifth-year midfielder Rachel Dragan will also be departing from the squad at season’s end. Also graduating are defenders Elizabeth McDonald and Stephanie Liganor, midfielders Kayla Myre, Kimberly Dextras-Romagnino, Melissa Kedro and Shauna Zilversmit, and forward Gabriela Padvaiskas.

These 10 players had high hopes to end their home career on a positive note, and Sanchez remarked how seriously they took to practice before game time.

“We were almost at game-like intensity,” Sanchez said. “Players were going in hard on each other, players were grabbing jerseys and tackling like it was a game, which is great.”

The Stingers carried their energy from practice to the game and started on the right foot when Rachel Dragan scored the opening goal in the 15th minute.

“I’m not typically a scorer, so it was nice to actually put one in the net, especially because it’s my last year here,” said Dragan.

Despite the early goal, the Stingers lost their lead two minutes later when UQAM’s Émilie Carrier scored.

Goals were difficult to come by for the rest of the game as the two teams played to a 1-1 draw.

With the team’s last home game in the books, the Stingers still need to focus on making the playoffs.

Though they followed up Friday’s draw with a 7-1 loss to Sherbrooke on Sunday to drop to 3-4-5 on the season, the Stingers still have a good shot at making the postseason with two games left in the regular season. They currently sit in fifth-place in the RSEQ with 14 points, one spot behind fourth-
place McGill. The top four teams in the conference make the playoffs in the RSEQ.

With Concordia having failed to qualify for the postseason since 2006, the graduating Stingers are hoping to go out with a bang with a deep postseason run to put an end to that drought and end their careers on a high note.

“We’re going to push as hard as we can these next couple of games,” said Brooks.

The Stingers will continue their playoff push this Friday night against the Montreal Carabins.