Rouge et Or 2, Stingers 1: Tale of two halves as Stingers women’s soccer still winless

Early wonder goal erased by difficult second period and injury

Stingers player tests the Rouge et Or keeper with her strike. Photo Credit: Caroline Marsh

The Concordia Stingers women’s soccer team have not won a game since Oct. 11, 2019. That was all set to change on Friday as they went into halftime against The Université Laval Rouge et Or with a commanding 1-0 lead.

This was everything Stingers head coach Greg Sutton had wanted from his team; a staunch defensive back line and a midfield that not only suffocated opponents in possession, but also created excellent scoring chances.

“If we play like that and with that kind of effort, we’re going to win more games than we lose,” said Sutton. “Getting off to a good start with an early goal is always so important.”

The Stingers came out firing immediately from kickoff, earning a corner inside the first minute—making their intentions going forward very clear. It only took five minutes for the dam to break as an absolute rocket from Chloe Ricciardi sailed over Rouge et Or keeper Anne-Marie Laroche and into the top corner.

“I had been struggling from that corner lately in practice so it was nice to get that in,” said Ricciardi. “We had a good tempo at the start and it’s nice to see results from it.”

That first half and significant improvement since their loss to Université de Montréal in the season opener was short lived however when captain Madeleine McKenzie went down with an ankle injury early in the second. For the next ten minutes, the Stingers seemed disjointed and on their heels for the first time in the game.

Rouge et Or midfielders were allowed more time on the ball and could play directly into the forwards, causing havoc in the Stingers’ defensive third. It all culminated just before the hour mark when Daphnée Blouin found herself unmarked at the top of the box on two separate occasions, completing her brace in just as many minutes. 

“We’ve always had a bit of an issue when we get scored on, where those next five minutes kind of makes or breaks it,” said Mackenzie. “We tend to get pretty down on ourselves and it’s something we need to work on.”

While Concordia did regain their feet and continued pressing for the final half hour in search of an equalizer, they did very little to trouble Laroche as the visiting team held on for a 2-1 victory.

“I think it was a more consistent performance [than last game],” said Sutton. ”We have to get better at defending our leads but that’s a learning experience.”

Sutton added that it is unclear whether Mackenzie will play against the Université de Québec À Montréal Citadins on Sunday as she will have to undergo further treatment.