Stingers vs. Patriotes: Women’s 5-3 win, men’s 1-2 loss in soccer.

The Stingers’ ability to turn the tide in the second half awards them their first victory of the season.

Rachel Vermaire (centre) celebrates with midfielders Alexiane Tremblay (left) and Safa Sabry (right) after her fourth goal of the game. Photo Alice Martin

Both the Stingers’ men’s and women’s soccer teams searched for their first win of the season against the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes at the Concordia Stadium on Sept. 8. Only the women’s team came out victorious due to a hefty performance by forward Rachel Vermaire.

The women’s team played first. Fourteen minutes into the game, Patriotes forward Mérédith Bélanger struck first, scoring from the 35-yard line. Patriotes forward Mélissa Lamine then widened the lead, scoring off a direct feed from midfielder Meïla Guipro-Lebel. The first half ended with Concordia trailing 2-0.

The Stingers bounced back in the second half. Within five minutes, Vermaire shot a header in the net on a pass from midfielder, and twin sister, Devon Vermaire. A few minutes later, Rachel Vermaire took another shot from the 25-yard line, beating Patriotes’ goalkeeper Anne-Gabrielle Marquis to tie up the score.

“We changed our formation [in the second half] and I think we just had a nothing-to-lose mentality. We worked hard and it allowed us to come back," said Stingers’ captain and defender Dayne Lebans, who assisted Vermaire in her second goal.

Gaining momentum, Vermaire managed to tip forward Maryse Vienneau’s pass in the upper left corner of the net, giving the lead to the Stingers and to herself, a hat trick.

The Stingers were not done extending their lead yet. Forward Sara Carrière took advantage of some  miscommunication between the Patriotes’ defensive-line, tipping in a pass from Vermaire into the net. At the 77-minute mark, Vermaire once again scored on a header, bringing her team up 5-2. 

“[Vermaire] was awesome today,” Lebans said. “She's really great at [maximizing] her chances and she really did that today with four goals. It's really easy to just get a ball up to her. You know it’s going in.”

Head coach Greg Sutton said a few tactical changes and motivation during halftime allowed them to gain energy.

“It shows a lot of our character. It was a good response from them when it could have easily gone the other way,” Sutton said .

Next up, the men’s team took the field.. The first half showcased a lot of back-and-forth and both teams had challenges in overcoming the other to create scoring opportunities, resulting in a draw before the halftime mark.

The Patriotes came back strong. Within the first two minutes of the second half, Patriotes midfielder Émile Boivin took a shot that beat a wall of players, as well as Stingers goalkeeper David Desbarats. Patriotes forward Vincent Lamy then capitalized on a penalty kick to extend the lead 2-0.

In extra minutes, Stingers’ forward Jared Leheta, managed to score a first goal for the Stingers, still it wasn’t enough to beat the Patriotes.

“They made the most of their chances. We didn't, and that was the difference at the end,”  Stingers’ captain and midfielder John Cevik said.

“There are a few moments we just have to be a bit sharper defensively,” said Sutton. ”We just have to do a better job [in our] execution and create better opportunities to finish plays. It's a work in progress for us.”

Both teams are back in action on Sunday, Sept. 10 when they host the Université du Québec à Montréal Citadins. The men’s team will play first. Their kick-off is set for 1 p.m.