Stingers Warm-Up: The 2022-2023 Season
Take a Look at What to Expect From Concordia Varsity Teams
Concordia’s varsity sports teams enjoyed one of the most collectively successful seasons in a long time last year. With all but one team making the playoffs, as well as two national championship runs and a title, expectations are high to continue this level of competition. Now that the 2022-2023 season only days away, let’s see how each team will face the new challenges thrown their way.
Last year’s result: RSEQ Semi-final loss vs. Université Laval
Concordia’s football team shocked the Quebec football world last year when they put together a gritty upset of then-defending RSEQ champions Université de Montréal Carabins. This announced the arrival of a potential third horse in the race, threatening the decades-old duopoly of Laval and Montréal.
The season also showcased the meteoric rise of quarterback Olivier Roy who was a revelation under centre.
Roy established himself as not only the best quarterback in the province but amongst the best in the entire country, leading the way with 18 touchdowns and ending second in passing yards per game with 308.
With core players missing on both sides of the ball, head coach Brad Collinson’s famed recruitment will be put to the test like no other time during his tenure.
First Game: Aug. 27 vs. Montréal
Last year’s result: National Champions
What can one say about this team that hasn’t already been said? After a heartbreaking first-round exit in the 2019 playoffs—despite being objectively the best team in the country during the entire regular season—the team was forced to wait an extra year as the COVID-19 pandemic shut their season down.
Armed with the added motivation, their revenge tour began, finishing second in the RSEQ standings and sweeping the playoffs. They then moved onto the USports national championship, where they outscored their opponents 13-0 on their way to claiming the program’s first title since 1999.
While this was largely considered to be a “last dance” of sorts for some of the team’s older stars, some younger players showed that the team would be in good hands. Emmy Fecteau, Rosalie Bégin-Cyr, and Émilie Lavoie all registered over a point per game and were vital in the team’s championship run.
First Game: Sept. 12 @ Ryerson
Last year’s result: OUA East quarterfinal loss vs. Ontario Tech
Concordia’s men’s hockey team entered the playoffs in scintillating form in Ontario University Athletics’s East division. Having won four of their last six, they faced a slumping Ontario Tech side on the business end of a three-game losing streak.
Despite all that, the Stingers fell in a characteristically chaotic 6-4 loss, ending what seemed to be a very promising postseason.
This could serve as a chip on the team’s shoulder, with almost no graduating students and head coach Marc-André Element’s propensity for developing young players.
Next Game: Sept. 17 vs. UQTR
Last year’s result: 5th place in RSEQ playoffs
It was a harsh world of realities for the Stingers’ women’s rugby team last season as they enjoyed playing in the lower tier of the RSEQ hierarchy in 2019, cruising to a perfect 6-0 record.
Laval and Ottawa remain top dogs in the province, but Jocelyn Barrieau’s squad showed tremendous growth, improving and putting together some impressive performances towards the end of the season.
Mahalia Robinson put in strong performances and gave an idea of what the future core of the squad could look like with her leading the line as captain.
Next Game: Aug. 27 @ UPEI
Last year’s result: 5th place at U Sports National Championship
Another year, another RSEQ championship for the men’s rugby team. Despite a shock loss to Bishop’s University forcing them to finish second to McGill due to tiebreak, they walked through the playoffs, claiming their fourth consecutive provincial title.
There’s still a sizeable gulf between the level of play in Quebec and the rest top teams in the country—as their elimination from the National Championship highlighted—the conveyor belt of incredible talent isn’t slowing down.
Nearly every single player, including a large part of the Stingers’ core, will be back for this season and looking to make it five.
Next Game: Sept. 4 @ Bishop’s
Last year’s result: 6th place in RSEQ—missed playoffs
To call the women’s soccer program stagnant is an understatement. Despite flashes of competitiveness, the team has finished in sixth place and outside a playoff spot for six consecutive seasons.
Head coach Greg Sutton’s unit has a blend of graduating students and rookies, so it appears as though he’s building for the future with this side. They’ve had their moments of quality but a complete performance still eludes them with inconsistency and sloppiness on both sides of the ball allowing games to get away from them.
Next Game: Aug. 30 vs. Bishop’s
Last year’s result: RSEQ Semifinal loss vs. Université de Montréal
There was an ambiance of optimism surrounding the men’s soccer team last season. They had qualified for the playoffs for the second year in a row after missing out for six years and they had done something incredible.
They beat the mighty Université de Montréal in their own stadium for the first time in 15 years. This team wasn’t scared of anyone and they played like it, imposing their tempo and their will on any opponent and looking like serious dark horses.
That momentum petered out in the semifinals to a Carabins team that avenged the earlier loss on their way to a national championship, closing the book on a promising era of the program that has gone unrewarded.
However, Sutton has assembled a strong group of young players who seem to have bought into his system. It may be a while before they challenge UdeM for hardware, but this team is no longer a bottom-feeder.
Next Game: Aug. 27 vs. Carleton
Last year’s result: RSEQ Semifinal loss vs. Université du Québec à Montréal
Last year’s end to the women’s basketball team’s season was a shock, to say the least. They ended the year winning seven of their last eight games, claiming first place and looking to win their first title since 1998-1999.
A loss to UQAM—a team they beat twice in that run—ended their season abruptly, cutting star Caroline Task’s Concordia career short.
However, standout performers like Myriam Leclerc and Coralie Dumont will be looking to make up for the loss of Task. Head coach Tenicha Gittens has helped the team recover from a disappointing pre-Covid season, using the time off to recruit a host of new talent and deepen the squad.
Next Game: Oct. 1 vs. Carleton
Last year’s result: RSEQ finals loss vs. McGill University
Both basketball teams saw their seasons end in heartbreak. After fighting back from down 10 points in the final against a powerhouse McGill, fifth-year star Olivier Simon had the chance to win with a 3-point buzzer-beater, but couldn’t convert.
That was the last shot of Simon’s Stingers career as the forward finished his fifth and final year. However, there could be a change of direction as two young guards cemented themselves as strong role players on both sides of the ball.
The impressive backcourt of Alec Phaneuf and Sami Jahan will be a force to be reconned with for years to come.
Next Game: Oct. 7 vs. Dalhousie
Last year’s result: 14-11 record in exhibition games
This is the team’s second year as a varsity program and will be looking to cement themselves amongst OUA’s best. The team has gone through a revamp since being designated as varsity, bringing in talent with the likes of twins Ryan and Tyler Bawart, Connor Melanson, and Michael Pavan.
They’ll be looking to earn an invitation to this year’s national championship and earn their first silverware as a member of Concordia’s top athletics programs.
Next Game: Aug. 27 vs University of Toronto *tentative schedule*