On Aug. 31, the McGill Martlets (1-1-0) hosted the Université de Montréal (UdeM) Carabins (1-0-1). As the reigning national champions, the Carabins were dominant en route to a 5-0 victory.
UdeM’s five goals all occurred in the first 25 minutes of the match. In the opening minute, Carabins forward and 2017 RSEQ Player of the Year Emmanuelle Alcindor netted home a loose ball in the box for her first of three goals of the evening. Her second came three minutes later—a stunner from just inside the penalty box. A UdeM midfielder joined in on the scoring in the 17th minute when a botched clearance left the ball at her feet right in front of goal. Next, Alcindor picked off a lazy pass between McGill defenders to complete her hat trick. It took one more defensive lapse in the 25th minute for the Martlets to stop the bleeding.
“We didn’t come out hard enough right away,” fifth-year centre-back Natasha Tcheki-Jamgotchian said. “[The Carabins] did, they came out ready to go. [It] is something that we have to work on […] so we don’t get caught off guard early in the game.”
UdeM kept the pressure on for the rest of the half, but McGill managed to resist with more possession and better defensive organization. But, on the offensive end, the Martlets struggled to move into their attacking third and take quality chances on goal.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to move the ball around as well as we [would have] liked,” Martlet Head Coach Jose-Luis Valdes said. “We weren’t very efficient, which led to a couple of interceptions and two very early goals.”
In the second half, the Carabins again pieced together some close scoring opportunities. McGill snuffed those chances out, and overall the play evened out.
“We calmed down a lot,” fifth-year goalkeeper Sarah Dubois said. “We didn’t look as dangerous as I would have liked, but […] [UdeM] also relaxed, so we got to come out of [the] back a little bit more and tried to play our style of game.”
The Martlets were disappointed by their first loss of the regular season, but are ready to put it behind them.
“[The Carabins are] a physical team, and I think that their physicality and the way that they play are a great match for the way that we play,” Dubois said. “Unfortunately, we just didn’t have that physicality there today to counter them.”
In the Martlets’ next game on Sept. 7, they found themselves back on the right side of the game, with a 2-1 win against the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Citadins. They host the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) Patriotes (1-0-0) on Wednesday.
“The good thing is, regardless of the score, it’s only a loss, one loss. Whether it’s by one goal or by three or by five, it’s just a loss. It hurts just as much, maybe it hurts the ego a little bit because it’s five, but I’m happy with the group that we have. I know that they’re gonna work and that they’re not going to ever want to see [such a bad loss] again.” – Head Coach Jose-Luis Valdes
Moment of the Game
McGill goalkeeper Sarah Dubois came up with a huge stop to deny UdeM’s Leïla Boudjelal on a 24th minute penalty kick.
Montréal took 14 shots on goal to McGill’s 2.