UQAM 4, Concordia 0: League Leaders Too Much to Handle for Stingers’ Womens’ Soccer

Citadins Continue Their Unbeaten Streak With Impressive Display Against Floundering Concordia Side

Stingers’ Midfielder Emilie Cote challenged tightly by UQAM player as she uses slide tackle to reach teammate Sarah Humes with pass Elisa Barbier

As the final whistle blew, the scoreboard may have read 4-0 for the home team, but the Stingers’ effort this past Friday night felt better than the scoreline suggested.

They started the game off strong, controlling play and taking it to their opponents. Forwards Sarah Humes and Sara Carriere linked up well and threatened the Université du Québec a Montréal’s backline, including a chip by Carriere that went just over the crossbar in the opening minutes.

Concordia seemed up to the challenge until Citadins defender Phiseline Michel headed the ball into the Stingers’ net off a corner to put UQAM up by one. This early lapse in concentration would prove to be a thorn in the Stingers’ side for the rest of the game.

“That goal was unacceptable, to be honest,” Coach Sutton said. “We still did a good job of staying in the match after that but it definitely changed our intensity level for the rest of the way.”

With a squad full of rookies and the slow start to the season, keeping team morale at a high level has proven to be a big problem for Sutton’s team. A goal against on one end or a good chance missed on attack often demoralizes the young team, hurting the rest of their performance.

Much of the responsibility of keeping the team level headed falls on the shoulders of captains Chama Sedki and Sarah Humes. Between leading the team, struggling for form, and staying healthy, the two veterans are already feeling the pressure.

“As a leader, I’m responsible for holding my teammates accountable and encouraging them to stay positive when they get discouraged or upset,” Humes said. “We need to address this morale issue if we want to get better as a team and turn this season around.”

Allowing early goals has plagued the Stingers in almost every game so far this season. Any momentum or positivity goes out the window, and the team has struggled to regain its composure following goals at bad times during the game.

UQAM’s second goal came almost 10 minutes into the second half, digging a deeper hole for the Stingers to climb out of. The league leaders played with near-perfect precision, keeping possession and moving through Concordia’s lines with ease, led by their talisman and captain Roseline Eloissant.

“We have to be a little more focused at certain points in the game if we want to avoid getting in holes,” Sutton said. “We have to win those important battles and we just haven’t been doing it so far this year.”

The Stingers held their formation and defended as best they could, with little to no opportunities to break on a counter-attack when they won the ball back. Captain Sedki and her teammates were practically spectators as their opponents ran circles around a demoralized group.

“It’s almost like we stop playing soccer and forget we’re in a game,” Sedki said. “Instead of keeping the ball and trying to get back in the game, we kick it away and panic because we’re scared.”

Down 3-0 at the 70 minute mark, Humes and fellow forward Sara Carriere began carrying the ball further upfield and challenging the UQAM backline, who had been cruising along for most of the game as their team dominated. Humes muscled off a defender to go on a breakaway, only to pull the ball just wide.

Just a few minutes later, Carriere found herself alone in the opposing box, but her left-footed effort was met with a big stop by Citadins keeper Lea Pallacio-Tellier.

“Near the end, when you’re down by three goals, it’s hard to find the motivation to attack and try to score,” Humes said. “Just the fact that we did have opportunities at the end though is a positive for us and a good thing to build on going forward.”

UQAM scored another goal in added time to bring the score to 4-0 and completed the route.

Concordia now falls to five losses on the season and are second to last place in the Réseau du Sport Etudiant Quebec.