Men’s Soccer: Stingers Bounce Back
ConU Returns to Win Column With 4-1 Win over Sherbrooke
The Concordia men’s soccer team ended their goal drought in emphatic style Friday night, defeating the Sherbrooke Vert-et-Or (0-4) by a score of 4-1 at Concordia Stadium. After being shutout in their last two games, the Stingers rediscovered the scoring touch that had deserted them after their four-goal opening season win.
“I think the guys are starting to understand what it takes to win,” manager Greg Sutton said after the match. “I think our work ethic was pretty good tonight.”
Amadou Lam led the way with two goals, while Eli Barutciski and defender Justin Gibson put their name on the score sheet as well. Both Lam and Barutciski scored their third goal of the season each. The two players have combined for 75 percent of the Stingers’ goal total this year.
The Vert-et-Or played the opening minutes with that type of urgency and they were rewarded by opening the scoring in the 12th minute of play.
Ahmed Grachem worked his way in down the left sideline and crossed a ball into the penalty area. An unmarked Phillippe Déry-Rouleau received the pass and scored from close range on goalkeeper Remo Taraschi, who was making his first start for Concordia.
The Vert-et-Or would not have the advantage for long. Not even two minutes later, the Stingers responded. A chance in the Sherbrooke box, led to a short clearance that made it just outside the area.
Fullback Justin Gibson saw his opportunity to have a go on net, and unleashed a stunning strike that beat goalkeeper Guillaume Proulx. Gibson’s power leveled the game at one all in the 15th minute.
“I saw the ball come out [of the box] and my first instinct was I need to put pressure on it. I had a little bit of space in front of me so I figured why not?” the Ottawa native said after the game. “Good things happen when you shoot the ball.”
“Good things happen when you shoot the ball.” — Justin Gibson
Soon after, rookie Eli Barutciski would add to his team’s lead. The attacking midfielder received the ball on the edge of the box and chipped the ball over Proulx, who was caught stranded out of his net. In what has become tradition for Barutciski, the goalscorer ran towards the student supporters in celebration.
All of a sudden, the Stingers went from being one down to leading the game two goals to one by halftime.
In the second half, Amadou Lam would be the man to write his name all over the match. The fourth-year Civil Engineering student, who plays both forward and midfield, made it 3-1 for the Stingers in the 58th minute after he curled in a shot that beat Proulx, who may have been disoriented after the ball was slightly deflected towards the goal.
Seven minutes later, forward Mitchell O’Brien found the Mauritania native on the edge of the box. Lam first-timed the ball, sending a curling shot into the top right corner. It was a finish of the highest order, and it left Proulx shaking his head.
“As soon as I hit it, I knew it was going in. I was pleased with the goal and pleased to have the team win,” Lam said after the game.“To make the playoffs, you need to score goals. That’s what we are working on in training. We are working on finishing.”
At the sound of the final whistle, the team congratulated Taraschi who was making his first start of the season in goal. The fourth-year goalkeeper turned away all other shots after the early goal, and kept a composed presence in the backfield.
“I was a bit nervous at the start of the game but that’s normal. We worked hard all week and we just got the job done and got the three points. Now we are moving on to Sunday,” said Taraschi.
The Stingers resume action as early as Sunday when they travel to Laval for a crucial afternoon matchup with the Rouge-et-Or. Once again Sutton reiterated the importance of an away match up as the team enters the second third of the season.
“It’s another big game for us. These are the teams that are going to be competing for the third and fourth [playoff] spot. If we go in there with the right attitude and work hard, there is no reason we can’t get a result.”