by John Austen
The whole country now knows something that has been the worst-kept secret at Concordia for a while now -- the Stingers are one of the best university football teams in Canada.
Thanks to their come-from-behind 19-18 win over the Waterloo Warriors on October 16 at Concordia Stadium, the Stingers are the No. 1 ranked team in the nation this week.
The victory improved Concordia's record to a perfect six wins and no losses with two regular season games left to play (October 23 at Bishop's and October 30 at the University of Ottawa).
The Stingers were lucky to win this one, but a "win is a win" for head coach Pat Sheahan. "Hey, we'll take it," he said. "Good things often happen to good football teams. When you don't play particularly well and still win, it's a bonus."
More than 1,500 people turned out under warm sunny skies last Saturday to see Concordia meet its Waterloo.
Concordia's offensive unit wasn't exactly ready for battle and failed to register a point in the game, which saw the home side trail by seven points at halftime. Special teams and the defence made the difference on the day.
Rookie defensive back Anthony Jean scored Concordia's only touchdown, while Matthew Trudeau kicked field goals of 36, 11, 24 and 16 yards to handle the rest of the scoring. Jean's touchdown came after he blocked the punt, recovered it and scampered 40 yards for the touchdown after the game was just a few minutes old. The Warriors then went to work and took over the game until late in the fourth quarter.
Concordia trailed 18-16 until Trudeau's fourth field goal of the day sailed through the uprights with just under six minutes to play in the game.
The win enabled the Stingers to leapfrog over the Saskatchewan Huskies, who held the official No. 1 ranking in the nation the week before. The Huskies had their perfect 5-0 record snapped when they lost 30-21 to the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in Vancouver last Friday.
Coincidentally, it was the Stingers and Huskies who battled in the national championship last year (Saskatchewan took the Vanier Cup with a 24-17 win).
The Stingers will have to play better than they did last week if they hope to defend their O-QIFC and Atlantic Bowl titles.
"We'll be OK," said Sheahan. "We're not the same team as we were in 1998. In some places, we are better. Our goal is to profit from last year's experience, get back there [the Vanier Cup] and finish the job."
Photo: Stingers' Burke Dales (on the ground) enjoys front-row football action after providing a key block to cornerback Loan Duong (foreground) in first-quarter action at Saturday's game.
* Women's hockey team wins in Toronto
Another varsity team to be reckoned with is the Stingers women's hockey team. Goals by Annie Boucher and Corinne Swirsky were enough to lift Concordia to a 2-0 win over the Varsity Blues in the final game of the University of Toronto Invitational Women's Hockey Tournament, held last weekend.
Lisa Harris registered the shutout as the Stingers outshot Toronto 22-16. Concordia will host McGill on Saturday, beginning at noon.
* Lalonde scores three for women's soccer
Led by three goals from Laura Lalonde, the women's soccer team beat the Patriotes 4-1 in Trois Rivi¸res last weekend. Joanne Belair scored the other goal for the winners.
* Rulers of rugby
The Concordia men's rugby side played a strong game at home last Sunday and had little trouble beating the Sherbrooke Vert et Or 44-5. Scoring for the winners were Yann Geoffrey, Gary McDougall, Jason Low, Nick Guezen, Harry Georgiopoulos, Sandro Troini and David Goldman.
Meanwhile, the Stingers women's rugby
team also had a good week, posting a 27-0 win over the Gee-Gees
in Ottawa. Linda Domzet had two tries, while Margo Legault,
Lauren Arner and Chantale Hurtubise scored one each.