Rouge et Or 2, Stingers 1: Top-ranked Laval gets the better of Concordia

Sara Carrière scores long goal as Laval remain undefeated

Stingers forward Sara Carrière battles for the ball with Rouge et Or defender Meredith St-Pierre. Photo Kyran Thicke / Concordia Athletics

The Concordia Stingers women’s soccer team knew they had a tough game ahead of them on Sept. 22 against the undefeated Université Laval Rouge et Or at Concordia Stadium. However, their 2-1 loss only seems to fuel their optimism for the rest of the season. 

“Seeing that we can compete against the top teams gives us a lot of hope going forward with the rest of the season,” said Stingers defender and co-captain Dayne Lebans.

“We were definitely nervous but we had full confidence in each other and I think we showed that on the field,” said Stingers forward and co-captain Sara Carrière.

The Rouge et Or has sat comfortably atop the Réseau des sports étudiants du Québec’s women’s soccer standings with five wins in five games. This season, only one goal has managed to pass through the Rouge et Or’s defence. The Stingers doubled that number by the end of the match. 

The first half of the game remained scoreless as Concordia managed to fend off the Rouge et Or’s relentless offence. The Stingers seemed to have the attacking upper-hand in the first few minutes, but the Rouge et Or quickly picked up the pace as the first half went on.

Stingers’ goalkeeper Rosalie Girouard’s efforts between the posts was put on notice. Her most striking moment was when she cut Rouge et Or forward Karyna Fisset’s run short in the box after Fisset evaded Stinger’s defender Ava Campione. 

“[Girouard] did well, she kept us in the game with a couple of saves,” said head coach Greg Sutton post-game. “She’s just starting to play for us [...] she’s still going to get better. I’m pleased with her performance.”

The Rouge et Or’s dangerous offence caught fire 11 minutes into the second half, finally breaking through Concordia’s defence. Rouge et Or forward Léa-Jeanne Fortier converted a cross from fellow forward Daphnée Blouin to give the edge to her team 1-0.

However, the Rouge et Or’s lead lasted mere seconds. In a breakaway situation with the Rouge et Or goaltender Anne-Marie Laroche, Carrière tucked a well-placed shot in the bottom-left corner of the net, tying it up 1-1.

At the 70-minute mark, the Rouge et Or got back on top and wouldn’t surrender their spot for the rest of the game. Fisset managed to intercept the ball from Campione, shooting it in the top-right corner of the goal. Girouard’s efforts to stop the shot were in vain, feeling the momentum narrowly slip away from her outstretched fingertips as the ball flew past.

“We knew it was going to be a challenge but we were excited about the opportunity, for all intents and purposes, I think we did pretty well,” said Sutton. “We made it difficult for them to bring us down [...] we’re going to build off of it, learn from it, and get ready for Sunday.”

The Stingers’ women’s soccer team will be back in action Sunday, Sept. 24, at Concordia Stadium against the McGill Redbirds at 3:30 p.m.