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Rams get boot to open season

Men’s soccer team off to a slow start with losses to Carleton and Queen’s

By Josh Brown

Ryerson men’s soccer team got off to a slow start Saturday as the Rams lost their season opener 2-1 to the Carleton Ravens at Birchmount Stadium.

But the loss doesn’t bother Rams coach Stuart Miller.

“We got beat today, but I’m pleased. Obviously a draw or win would have been a better start but I’m happy with their effort because they never gave up.”

The Rams fell behind early as Ravens forward Cameron Barr scored the first goal in the second minute of play. Another goal by Barr minutes later gave Carelton a 2-0 lead.

The flurry of early Raven goals seemed to fluster the Rams for the first half. The Rams had a missed penalty shot and a drive off the crossbar, but no goals. 

The intense pursuit for a goal before the half left the Rams defence wide open. Twice Rams defenders had to sacrifice their bodies to make a save in the goal crease. 

“In the first half we both had equal amounts of chances,” said Miller. “Carleton took theirs and scored, we muffed ours. We weren’t as sharp as they were.”

The second half was all Rams. The Rams outshot the Ravens 7-4 and controlled the ball for the majority of the time. The Ravens were feeling the pressure with mid-fielder Scott Wallsworth receiving a yellow card for rough play. 

Another Ravens illegal check in the goal crease led to a second penalty shot for the Rams. This time C.Y. Paul capitalized to put the Rams on the board. 

“There’s not much between the two teams,” said Ravens coach Alex Mackie. “I think we just defended well up until the last minute of play.”

A good second-half effort by Sammy Oshundrinde and Devon Kenlock were highlights for this young Ram team. The Rams were coming off their best season which had them finishing with a 4-5-3 record in 1994. Five of the 11 starters in Saturday’s game were rookies and the Rams were missing last year’s club MVP Jason Nicholson, who’s out with a torn hamstring. 

Assistant Coach Larry Arsenault is excited about the rookie situation.

“I feel we have the most skilled rookie crop that we’ve ever had. The rookies have a lot of support from the returning players. We’re a team in transition but one with a lot of potential. It’s going to be an exciting year.”

The Rams also dropped their second game of the season Sunday in Kingston, losing 3-1 to the Queen’s Golden Gaels. Ivan Juricic scored his first goal of the season for the Rams.

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