Stingers 2, Vert et Or 1: Late drama gives women’s soccer first win
Casey Koscher’s 94th minute stunner gives Concordia three points
It took them five games, but the Stingers women’s soccer team picked up their first victory of the season over the Université de Sherbrooke Vert et Or in front of the home crowd at Concordia Stadium.
After going down 1-0, head coach Greg Sutton’s group fought back to get all three points with a dramatic last-minute winner from defender Casey Koscher.
“They deserved it, they worked hard today so the result is a great testament to that,” said Sutton. “I told the girls that if they focus on winning those 50/50 battles then we’re always going to give themselves a chance to win.”
The first half got off to a daunting start for the home side whose three-at-the-back formation meant that all of the Vert et Or’s offence was going to be funneled through their talented wingers. Wave after wave of attack came through the flanks, forcing some last-ditch interceptions and impressive saves.
Less than ten minutes in, RSEQ leading scorer Marilou Dugrenier was played through on goal but she let Concordia off the hook by fanning on the shot. That acted as a sort of warning shot that—despite only having one win this season—Sherbrooke was still full of danger and pressed their advantage every time they found an opening on the wings, forcing the Stingers to adjust.
“We knew that we had to shift and just had to trust that our wingers were going to cover their spots,” said Koscher. “I had to trust in my teammates to cover for me when I pressed up on [Dugrenier] and make sure that our shape wasn’t messed up.”
The second half was more of the same as the visitors kept looking for their breakthrough, which they found right before the hour mark. With more energy being devoted to defending the wings, Concordia would occasionally leave their box vulnerable. That was something Mathilde Vigneault took full advantage of by smashing the ball into the bottom right corner at close range.
It seems as though the defensive lapse and conceded goal finally woke up the Stingers offensively as Sara Carrière immediately took the ball down the field and won Concordia a penalty. After captain Madeleine Mackenzie converted and the game was all square, there was a shift in momentum.
“I think our mentality and intensity improved after that,” said Carrière. “We know the quality on this team so staying positive helped us get back in the game.”
From that moment on, it was really an Uno Reverse card situation. Concordia’s flank players started to take over the space and dictated how Sherbrooke should defend, not the other way around.
All this pressure came to fruition four minutes into added time when the corner found Koscher who controlled the ball with her chest before guiding it into the top corner, sealing the dramatic comeback victory.
“We told each other to play every corner like it’s the last minute,” said Koscher. “Getting that goal was so amazing, it was exhilarating.”
Concordia now goes on to face their anglophone rivals the McGill Martlets on Oct. 1 at Percival Molson Stadium.