Women’s Soccer: Much Ado About Nothing

Stingers And Carabins Settle for Scoreless Draw in “Ugly Game”

Stingers midfielder Stephanie Di Lemme dribbles the ball in her team’s 0-0 draw versus the Montreal Carabins. Photo Shaun Michaud
Stingers midfielder Shauna Zilversmit fends off a Carabins defender in a 0-0 draw versus the Montreal Carabins Photo Shaun Michaud

By most accounts, the beautiful game was not on display Friday night at Loyola stadium. The Concordia Stingers women’s soccer team tied the Université de Montréal Carabins 0-0 in a cagey contest.

Undefeated through four games, the Carabins played “anti-soccer” and created an “ugly game,” according to Stingers head coach Jorge Sanchez.

“As a soccer purist, I don’t really like that kind of game,” said Sanchez. “I think they did not come to play.”

“You’re the fifth ranked team in the country, play soccer.”

Despite the negativity surrounding the Carabins playing style, they conjured up the best scoring chances of the match. In the 19th minute of the first half, Carabin forward Karine Constantin had a clear breakaway chance with only the goalkeeper to beat, but she pulled her shot wide of the far post.

The second half continued the trends of the first as the game became a series of back-and-forth, “ping pong” play from both teams, Stingers defender Courtney Lundell-Streeler said.

“I know a lot of players on that team,” she said. “I’ve played with them before, and I was actually expecting a lot prettier soccer from them.”

“There was a lot of kick and run, and I wasn’t expecting that.”

Again, the best chances fell to the feet of Carabin forwards as Stingers goalkeeper Maria Kaperonis demonstrated adept positioning and reflexes. A quality chance inside the box at 33 minutes was easily handled by the second-year goalkeeper.

Stingers defender, Alyssa Ruscio, echoed her teammate’s and coach’s observations of the Université de Montréal’s style. For her, she prefers a more “technical” way to play, but she found positives in the ugly contest.

“I’m happy about the game, but it’s obviously not enough,” said Ruscio. “Montreal is fifth now in Canada, so to be able to get a draw out of a game against [one of] the top five teams in Canada is pretty good.”

Far from out of the playoff race, Friday’s results allow the Stingers the opportunity to “climb over” rivals, the McGill Martletls, in the standings with a win on Sunday, according to Sanchez.

“Where we are as a program, to come and take a point away from this team, it’s a great accomplishment,” Sanchez said.

The Stingers will face the Martlets at 6:00pm at Percival Molson Stadium on Sunday.