Montréal, QC- Despite Les Citadins, like all other programs across the country, having to hit pause on their athletics, their athletes still brought pride to the school even in the most unlikely ways. From setting records to writing their own Cinderella story, Université du Québec à Montréal was home to a few impressive storylines this year.
Women’s Soccer: Breaking Records Like It’s Nothing
Sharing a stadium with a beloved professional team in their city could be a daunting idea to some university athletes, especially when they’re playing the same sport. The women of UQAM’s soccer team, however, seemed to take this pressure and turned into diamonds. Not only did they finish 12-1-1, but they were perfect at home in Saputo Stadium, a fortress they share with MLS’s Montreal Impact.
The 2019 Citadins comfortably inked their names at the top of every column in the record books. Not only did they achieve the best record in team history, they also scored more and conceded less than ever before with 35 goals for and only 5 against. If their +30 goals differential wasn’t enough to cement them as one of the top defensive teams in the conference, the women walked away with a school-record nine clean sheets in the regular season, as well as one in the RSEQ semi-finals.
Despite not getting the chance at a national title after falling 2-1 to Université de Montréal in the RSEQ championship game, Les Citadins can count their 2019 campaign as a success. They closed out the season as the fifth-ranked team in women’s university soccer by U SPORTS. UQAM players were also recognized as a school-record number of times on all-star teams and national players of the week.
While the kickoff of their next season remains uncertain amidst the current global situation, Les Citadins can rest assured that when that whistle blows, they are poised to continue their pace to a potential spot at the national championships.
Men’s Basketball: From Middle of the Pack to Silver Medalists
One might think that Les Citadins men’s basketball traded their court shoes for glass slippers by the way they Cinderella-storied themselves into the RSEQ championship game. Their regular season could be described as the dictionary definition of average, as they finished with an 8-8 record after scoring 1221 points and allowing 1220. Nevertheless, they found themselves in the playoffs as the fourth seed.
Les Citadins punched their ticket to the finals after beating top-seeded McGill University 70-61 in the semi finals. Suddenly, this team that hadn’t done much all season looked like a serious threat to win it all. In a rather surprising turn of events, their final opponent was Bishop’s University, who had also finished their season 8-8. The Gaiters had handed UQAM a 72-61 loss just a week before the championship tip. The battle of the .500 teams was fittingly settled by a single point, with Bishop’s taking home the RSEQ title, 73-72.
If there is anything to be taken away from UQAM’s playoff performance, it’s that every coach you’ve ever had is right: anybody can beat anybody, especially in the playoffs.