On Oct. 27, McGill Redmen soccer (4-5-3) took on the Concordia Stingers (3-8-1). The highly physical game resulted in a 3-1 victory for McGill.
The first half was a close affair, with both teams registering a goal each. The Redmen came out strong and were able to get ahead early, when second-year midfielder Roberto Bonalumi booted the ball past the Concordia keeper.
In the opening minutes, McGill controlled the play well, employing excellent ball movement to halt the Concordia attack. But, as the half went on, their play slipped and Concordia scored midway through the half to tie the game.
During halftime, the Redmen regrouped and focused on tightening up their game.
“We told them […] they have to execute better,” Head Coach Marc Mounicot said. “They have to be more dangerous offensively, and the use of the ball has to be much more positive [….] We were hoping for a reaction, and I think they did [react].”
In the second half, the Redmen were able to regain control over the game by refocusing their strategy.
“Instead of putting our heads down, we just knew that we had to come out strong in the second half, and just change the momentum,” fifth-year midfielder Michael McIntyre said.
The Redmen offence struck again in the 58th minute, after a superb pass resulted in an easy tap in by second-year forward Mehdi Ibn-Brahim.
Later in the game, McGill capitalized once more when Bonalumi took advantage of a misplay by a Concordia defender for his second goal of the night. The Redmen then contained the Stingers’ offence for the remainder of the half and secured the win.
The match marked the last home game for many graduating veterans on the team, who expressed how thankful they are for the team and the experience.
“I was just looking forward to the opportunity of playing, and trying not to think about it being as my last game, and instead just trying to enjoy it.” McIntyre, one of the six graduating players, said.
For defender Davide Salvoni, the game was bittersweet.
“I dedicated a lot of time to this program for four years, so it felt a little tough to let it go, you know, break the routine I’ve been in for the last four years,” Salvoni said. “So I definitely wanted to end it on a good note.”
On Oct. 29, the Redmen took on the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Citadins (7-4-1) at Stade Saputo, losing 1-0. Despite the loss, the team still secured a berth in the RSEQ playoffs. They’ll face off against the Université de Montréal Carabins on Nov. 11 at Stade Cepsum in the semifinal round.
Moment of the Game
Late in the first half, McGill goaltender Antoine Marchal and a Concordia attacker engaged in an epic footrace for a stray ball, in which Marchal just managed to boot it out of reach of the Stingers forward.
“I think we came out with the right mindset, we were just worried about ourselves, rather than the other team. And we never stopped throughout the whole game, even when they tied it up.” – Fourth-year midfielder Michael McIntyre
Despite Concordia outshooting McGill 9-6, the Redmen registered more shots on target, edging the Stingers 5-3.