The Monkey Goes Away
Women’s Soccer Team Finally Gets a Win
Concordia’s women’s soccer team outplayed the Université de Québec à Montréal Citadins Sunday afternoon to earn a well-deserved 1-0 victory. After back-to-back-to-back losses to start the season, the Stingers needed a win to avoid digging themselves into a serious hole at the bottom of the standings.
The victory-hungry Stingers were facing a UQAM team also seeking their first win after consecutive losses to UdeM and McGill.
The first 25 minutes of the game were fiercely disputed, with teams battling for every ball, and the Stingers experienced the intensity of UQAM’s game firsthand.
“We knew they were going to be physical,” said Stingers head coach Jorge Sanchez. “Even if you get beaten up, don’t let them see you’re getting intimidated, make this game about skill,” he said.
The opposition slightly out-possessed the Stingers during those first 25 minutes, while at the same time getting the first shot on goal, coming from midfielder Caroline Michaud-Morasse.
UQAM defender Marie-Pier Chicoine proved herself to be a constant threat to Concordia’s defense with her repeated accurate free-kicks. They struggled to capitalize on its several counter-attacks, their midfielders having trouble reaching the two forwards, in part due to a cohesive and attentive UQAM defensive block.
Things got heated at the 27th minute, when Stingers forward Emily Hubbard got into a slight altercation with Citadins’ forward Sarah Bernard-Lacaille. Once this was over, the momentum shifted the Stingers way as they were winning more one-on-one battles, and consequently spending more time in contact with the ball. This led them to obtain the first corner kick of the meeting, 30 minutes into it.
The first real chance for the home team came seven minutes later, when Stingers defender Catherine Lalonde took her chance from right outside the penalty box, putting the Citadins’ goalkeeper Constance Laroche-Lefebvre to work for the first time of the contest.
The Stingers kept up the pressure, and two minutes later, a great header pass from forward Jennifer Duff led to a shot from Hubbard that almost put the Maroon and Gold on the scoreboard. The referee whistled the end of the first half after a 20 minute stretch clearly dominated by the Stingers.
Sanchez made a couple of a decisive squad changes at half-time, including the entrance of rookie forward Gabriela Padvaiskas.
“Both of the subs have phenomenal speed,” said Sanchez. “The game settles into a certain rhythm, and all of a sudden you’re adding players with pace in the game.”
It would take until the early stages of the second half before the Stingers would capitalize, when Duff’s header connected with the opposing team’s mesh, following a high pass into the box from Stingers defender Kayla Myre. That break came after an even start to the second half.
“We focused on trying to get the ball behind them, that’s what happened on the goal,” said Sanchez. “We put it behind them and got on the other end of it.”
As the clock was ticking down, the fans were at the edge of their seat, as Stingers forward Gabriela Padvaiskas began a tremendous 30-yard run towards the Citadins’ 18-yard box. The Pointe Claire native deked two defenders, but her firm shot connected with the right post. “It was our 6th or 7th post in the last few games,” said Sanchez with a chuckle after the game.
“It seemed like the other player was stuck in quicksand,” he said. “I didn’t even realize she was that fast!”
This game was yet another disappointment for the Citadins, who haven’t found the back of the net in three consecutive meetings now.
“We have chances, but we don’t put the ball in the net,” said UQAM’s coach, Sophie Drolet.
The Stingers will be confronted by a big challenge next Friday on the road against the red-hot Université de Montréal Carabins. The Carabins have dominated all their opponents this year, sporting a perfect record and tallying 14 goals in four games. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m.
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