Rouge et Or 2, Stingers 1: So close, yet so far

Stingers fall short of their second win in a nail-biter game against Laval

A Rouge et Or player attempts to intercept the ball from a Stingers player. Photo Kyran Thicke / Concordia Athletics

The Concordia Stingers men’s soccer team looked to build on their momentum as they went head-to-head with the Université Laval Rouge et Or on Sept. 22 at Concordia Stadium, having secured their first win of the season in their last game.

However, the Stingers couldn’t capitalize on key chances to propel themselves in the lead throughout the match. Stingers forward Jared Leheta himself missed two golden opportunities that could have made a difference for Concordia.

Leheta first had a scoring opportunity when he took a penalty shot after a tripping foul was given to Laval at the 28-minute mark. His kick ended up wide left and missed the net entirely.

As the clock winded down towards the end of the second half, Leheta had another chance, this time to tie the game 2-2 off a one-timer but he whiffed on that as well.

Head coach Greg Sutton acknowledged that, if the third-year had managed to see through one or both of his attempts, the game could have ended differently. However, he called on the forward to stay resilient.

“He’s going to have to be able to deal with adversity. Good players like him can manage that and bounce back from it. It’s part of life,” Sutton said. Leheta has so far led the team in scoring this season with three goals.

Eight minutes into the second half, Stingers defender Razvan Colici was given a penalty shot as well. Unlike his teammate, he struck gold, giving the Stingers’ a 1-0 lead.

The game’s momentum shifted in favour of the Rouge et Or. The Stingers’ advantage was undone when Laval went on to score back to back goals in the next ten minutes.

As the Stingers looked to make the comeback, Stingers defender Zackiel Brault conceded a red card to Laval in the 75th-minute, handicapping his team to ten players for the remainder of the match.

“We lost concentration for a couple minutes and Laval were able to make the most out of it”, said defender Lundon Durand Browne. “It’s a frustrating way to end a game that we dominated for the most part.”

The Stingers conceded the match 2-1 and now hold a record of 1-3-2, which drops them to fifth place in the Réseau des Sports Étudiants du Québec division, only in front of Université de Sherbrooke Vert et Or. 

Laval was already a very tough opponent, however, being a man down in the crucial minutes of the game made the task that much more difficult for the Stingers.

“It’s the finishing touch that we have to work on,” added Sutton. “We’re going to have to rebound, we can’t feel sorry for ourselves.”

The Stingers will come out onto the pitch with something to prove in a rivalry home game against the McGill Redbirds on Sunday Sep. 24 at 1 p.m.