Meet the 2019-2020 Concordia Stingers

What Fans Can Expect From Concordia’s Varsity Teams

Meet the athletes representing Concordia across nine teams. Photo Alexander Perez

Women’s Basketball
Head Coach: Tenicha Gittens
Player to Watch: Myriam Leclerc
Exciting Rookie: Nikita Telesford

After advancing to the final eight of the national championship for the first time in 20 years, Gittens’ team will be looking to take the next step. After losing their first game, the Stingers were scorching hot, winning six games in a row between November and January before cooling off and finishing the season with a 10-6 record in conference play.

Leclerc, U Sports Rookie of the Year led the team in both points and assists per game, and along with veteran guard Caroline Task and forward Coralie Dumont, provided most of the team’s scoring punch. The Stingers are bringing back most of last year’s nucleus while strengthening their team with two recruits. Forward Telesford (6’2”) and center Shanice Neita (6’1”) will add some size to the team. Telesford brings a wealth of experience to the team, having played the last four years at Oakland University in the NCAA. Gittens will also be banking on growth from promising young players like Leclerc and RSEQ All-Rookie Areej Burgonio.

Men’s Basketball
Head Coach: Rastko Popovic
Player to Watch : Adrian Armstrong
Exciting Rookie: Sami Jahan

With unforgettable celebrations, all-star nominations, a national championship berth, and the ultimate prize of winning the 2019 Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec championship title in the books, the Concordia men’s basketball team has set new goals and challenges.

Coming off an impressive title run, the Stingers will look to keep their momentum from last year, despite losing key pieces like Ricardo Monge and Garry Merisier. They will look to exploit defences with their depth and shooting, guided by senior Armstrong. The Stingers will also look to an exciting younger performer, Jahan, so he can gain valuable experience in his first year. Though the road ahead won’t be easy, with Popovic at the helm, Concordia remains a team with both high skill and expectations.

Head Coach: Brad Collinson
Player to Watch: Adam Vance
Exciting Rookies: 40-person rookie class

After missing out on the playoffs in the last game of the year on tie breakers to finish last in the standings, Collinson and the Stingers football team have something to prove. A massive overhaul saw Collinson add 40 new recruits to the training camp roster and bring in a slew of new coaches. This is finally looking like a team of which he is in complete control.

It’s a stretch to see even a quarter of this enormous rookie class find regular first-string roles but they bring in a new intensity and can push some of the more established veterans. While they lost two massive players to the Canadian Football League draft in Maurice Simba (Toronto) and Michael Sanelli (Montreal), there is still a strong veteran presence in the locker room. Players like Adam Vance, linebackers Jersey Henry and Samuel Brodrique, and wide receiver James Tyrrell are all going to be essential for the team to return to battling for a playoff spot.

Men’s Soccer
Head Coach: Greg Sutton
Player to Watch: Sean Holmes
Exciting Rookie: Marc-Antoine Chaudry

It’s difficult to overstate just how difficult of a season it was for the men’s soccer team. With Sutton taking the reigns of both the men’s and women’s programs, the former ended their season 1-10-1—their worst record during Sutton’s tenure. After scoring only 10 goals and conceding 32 over the course of 10 games, big changes were required.

Chaudry, the RSEQ’s goalkeeper of the year at the CEGEP level was brought in alongside midfielder Michael Polisena—who captained Vanier College’s team for two years. Polisena will also hopefully help carry the load of the midfield alongside, Holmes who was one of the few consistently bright spots in a difficult season. Some moves have been made to the lineup, but the direction the team is taking to get back into
playoff contention is still unclear.

Women’s Soccer
Head Coach: Greg Sutton
Player to Watch: Chama Sedki
Exciting Rookie: Haley Wheatley

The Concordia Stingers women’s soccer team is coming off a disappointing season in which they finished with a record of 4-9-1 and missed the playoffs. In Sutton’s first season at the head of the women’s squad, the Stingers allowed 40 goals in 18 games, making them the worst defensive team in the league. Their 18 goals scored was good enough to place them in the middle of the pack, but will need to threaten the opposition’s defence a lot more.

A new addition that will help put the ball in the net is midfielder Wheatley. She led the Dawson College Blues in goals last season, and Sutton will look to involve her in his team’s attack to help his strikers create offence. Midfielder Sedki should continue anchoring the midfield for the Stingers, helping the team on both ends of the field. Sedki was named to the RSEQ Second All-Star team last season, picking up an MVP award in six of the 14 games she featured in.

A classic McGill vs Concordia showdown. Photo Elisa Barbier

Men’s Hockey
Head coach: Marc-André Élement
Player to Watch: Carl Neill
Exciting Rookie: Pascal Corbeil

A fast-paced team that can drive offence from a skilled, puck moving defence, the Stingers may have a very fresh look this season. Following a disappointing first round playoff exit last year, the team is bringing in a recruit class in the double digits to complement an already large roster. High end recruits from leagues like the Quebec Major Junior HockeyLeague and the Western Hockey League highlight the crop of rookies. Corbeil—a defender with high flying offensive talent—and Jeff de Wit—a strong goal scoring threat—all look to be standout rookies for the team.

The team is aiming to offset the loss of their top centre Hugo Roy, captain Philippe Hudon, and versatile winger Charles-Éric Légaré to pro deals and graduation last year, in order to battle for a berth at the national championship, which they earned just two seasons ago. That may depend on how the team’s new players adapt to the league. The team remains anchored by one of the best blueliners in the country in all-star defenceman Neill and their pesky, productive winger Philippe Sanche.

Women’s Hockey
Head Coach: Julie Chu
Rookie to watch: Emmy Fecteau
Veteran to watch: Audrey Belzile

Last season concluded in a heart-breaking loss to hometown rival, McGill, in the second game of their semi-final matchup in the RSEQ women’s hockey playoffs. This loss also marked the departure of four key players who had marked the Stingers’ success over the past few campaigns. Captain Devon Thompson, assistant captain Sophie Gagnon, forward Melinda Prévost and goaltender Katherine Purchase completed their collegiate careers, and will now need to be replaced. However, the offensive duo of Rosalie Bégin-Cyr and Belzile will be back to lead Concordia.

The team will also benefit from the arrival of rookie forward Fecteau. She was the captain of the CEGEP Limoilou Titans last season, putting up 46 points in 24 games, her second consecutive season with over 40 points. Taking over for Purchase, goaltender Alice Philbert will get the chance to be the main netminder for the Stingers. Chu had to rely on Philbert’s work early last year, giving a chance to Philbert to get some starting minutes ahead of her opportunity to serve as the Stingers’ top goalie this year.

The women’s rugby team is young but have a strong base to build off of. Photo Elisa Barbier.

Women’s Rugby
Head Coach: Jocelyn Barrieau
Player to Watch: Laetitia Royer
Exciting Rookie: Mahalia Robinson

The 2018 season served as a transitional period for the Concordia Stingers women’s rugby team and first-year head coach Barrieau. The team dealt with the departure of veterans Frédérique Rajotte and Alex Tessier, two of the best players in team history and a pair of former most valuable players. During the season, Barrieau sought to establish a winning culture that positively affects recruitment.

They finished the season with a record of two wins and five losses. This year, rookie player Robinson will contend for a spot alongside returning all-stars, Lia Hoyte, Jasmine Baxter, and Shawna Brayton. The 2019 season also marks the return of veteran player Royer. In Concordia’s 2018 home opener, Royer returned to the pitch after an ACL tear. Unfortunately for both her and the team, she tore her ACL for a second time that day. After her injury, Royer worked through intensive rehabilitation for seven months. In her second season as head coach, Barrieau is looking to field a consistent team that can move up into the RSEQ’s top division. Returning leadership and fresh talent are strong tools for the Stingers.

Men’s Rugby
Head Coach: Craig Beemer
Player to Watch: Lucas Hotton
Exciting Rookie: Alec Montminy

After an exciting two season long unbeaten streak through the regular season and postseason, the men’s rugby team now has their sights set on something bigger. The team went 7-0 once again last season, claiming the RSEQ Championship and earning a trip to the national championships for the second year in a row. A true powerhouse, this team has been the epitome of discipline and consistency over the last two years, earning them the honour of hosting the third annual Canadian Men’s Rugby Championship in late November 2019.

After two runs that ended in disappointment, the team looks to come back stronger, giving some of Canada’s most talented teams a run for their money. Among players not returning this season is standout Jonathan Banks, who was a driving force on this team last year. But with seasoned talent in returning players like Hotton, Julian Alexander, and Charles Debove, the team looks to come back with a dangerous roster.