Montreal 3, Concordia 0: New Looks, Same Result for Stingers Women’s Soccer Team

Hobbled Concordia Shut Out for Third Game in a Row

Stinger Forward Audrey-Ann Cardinal looks up field looking to pick out teammate with pass Photo Caroline Marsh

A Stingers team struggling for fitness and confidence came up against a hot Montréal Citadins team, who dominated the full 90 minutes on their way to a 3-0 win this past Sunday afternoon.

With a few key players out with injuries, head coach Greg Sutton was forced to shift some players into new positions to make up for the absences.

Bryanna Campbell, a first-year player who has been featured at the fullback and centre-back positions so far this season, started as a holding midfielder alongside Madeleine Mackenzie. Haley Wheatley, a prolific scorer in CEGEP and a staple on the wing since the start of the season, started at left-back and had arguably one of her best games of the season.

“I was definitely a little nervous at the start, but I’ve played there before so it wasn’t too new to me,” Wheatley said. “My teammates at the back were helping me with what I should do, so they made it a lot easier for me.”

With a roster full of injuries and inexperienced rookies, having dynamic players who can play multiple positions and bring versatility to the team is important, especially in times like these.

“We knew Haley could play many different positions because she understands and reads the play well,” said Sutton. “We have a couple girls who can do the same and we’ll expect them to step up when we need them to.”

Both teams started slow, with little constructive play coming from either side. The breakthrough came at the sixteenth minute, when Carabins star winger Mégane Sauve dribbled through several Stingers defenders before crossing the ball to Nahida Baalbaki, who put it in for UdeM’s first of the afternoon.

As the game went on, Concordia conceded more and more possession and struggled to keep up with a quicker Carabins team. Out of the 11 players who started the game Sunday, eight had featured in the starting lineup in Friday night’s loss against UQAM.

“Both games were really exhausting in every aspect and that was obvious for us today,” captain Sarah Humes said. “We have a strong starting 11, but not a very deep bench, so some of us are depended on a lot more than we can handle at times.”

Despite the one-sided game and scoreline, Sutton was satisfied with his team’s effort and character.

“The girls that were out there did the right things when it comes to committing and the effort level,” said Sutton. “In the end, it comes down to execution and that’s hard to do consistently when your squad is worn out like ours is.”

To make matters worse, Stingers winger Audrey-Ann Cardinal went down shortly after the start of the second half and had to be helped off the field, as she refrained from putting any weight on her right foot. The rookie had stood out in recent weeks with her ability to drive at defences and create chances on a team that struggles immensely in that area.

Montreal dominated the entirety of the second half, attacking the Stingers’ defence in waves and introducing impactful substitutes off the bench, something coach Sutton could not match. Mégane Sauve and Fatima Gharsallah each scored to bring their team’s tally to three, effectively finishing off a wounded Concordia side.

After a tough weekend facing the two of the best sides in the league, the Stingers seem ready to move on to their next challenges. Haley Wheatley, coming off a good game in a fairly new position, looks to build on the confidence she was able to establish this afternoon.

“This game definitely sparked some confidence in me,” Wheatley said. “Hopefully next game, I can play as a forward again and find my groove to help the team a bit more.”

Wheatley and co. will look to add to the win column and get back on the scoresheet on Friday, Sept. 27 against a Bishop’s side that is just above them in the standings.