The McGill Redmen (1-4-0) soccer team fell to the Laval Rouge et Or (1-3-0) 3-0 on Friday night in a match that was fought largely in midfield. The match ended with possession distributed evenly between the two teams, but the visitors were far more purposeful with the ball at their feet. Laval’s attacks were more deliberate, their passing more precise, and their shot selection more ambitious. On defence, McGill was frequently caught scrambling and backtracking. On a number of occasions only fortuitous bounces prevented the score from being more lopsided. Overall, it was an uninspiring display from the Redmen, who fell to sixth place in the RSEQ standings.
“The problem was quality,” third-year Head Coach Marc Mounicot said. “We didn’t generate anything.”
The match started out with an even mix of possession in midfield but no real chances for either side. McGill goalkeeper and captain Max Leblond had a couple of solid early saves, drawing cheers from the crowd. By the middle of the first half, Laval picked up the pace of the match and pressed further and further into the Redmen half. Finally, in the 26th minute, Laval forward Marc-Olivier Kouo-Dibongue found the back of the net with a sliding shot from the middle of the box, putting the visitors up 1-0. McGill failed to respond convincingly for the rest of the half, bogged down in midfield much to Mounicot’s frustration
Unfortunately for McGill, Laval seemed to go up a gear in the second half of the match. The Laval defence dispossessed McGill attackers before they could even get a decent look on goal, let alone a shot. Afterwards the Rouge et Or sent waves upon waves of counterattacks. Each shot by the visitors seemed more and more likely to go in and eventually Laval struck twice in a row in the 64th and 65th minutes, putting a dejected McGill side down by three. McGill’s best chance of the match came in stoppage time with a one-on-one between the Laval goalkeeper Alexis Pacquette and McGill forward Conor O’Loughlin. The shot came too low and was punched out for a corner by Pacquette. The match, McGill’s second goalless game this season, ended without any fanfare as the team headed dejectedly to the locker room before preparing for Sunday’s away match against the Montreal Carabins. (3-1-0)
McGill Tribune (MT): “What do you think we did well tonight?”
Coach Mounicot (CM): “Nothing.”
MT: “Well maybe you could tell me what went wrong then?”
Moment of the Game
Laval’s first shot on goal of the match came in the fourth minute, a screamer off of a set piece by eventual goal-scorer Kouo-Dibongue. The shot came just below the bar on the upper right corner of the goal but was masterfully fisted away by Leblond, saving what could have been a disastrous start to the match.
Stat of the Game
Leblond, the Redmen captain, saved four of the seven shots he faced while Alexis Pacquette turned away all three of the shots he faced.