By Thien Huynh
New optimism comes with the arrival of a new season and a new coach. Unfortunately, for the Ryerson women’s soccer team, the result of their season opener was eerily familiar.
The lady Rams lost 5-0 to the powerful Ottawa Gee Gees in their first game Sunday at Birchmount Stadium in Scarborough.
The Rams found themselves on the defensive early and often as Ottawa controlled the ball throughout the first half, spending most of their time in Ryerson’s end.
The young Rams squad looked tentative and fell behind the aggressive Gee Gees. By halftime, Ottawa was ahead 4-0 on the strength of three point-blank shots and a breakaway.
Managing only one shot on net for the entire game (a penalty kick), the Rams still had moments that showed this team may have the potential to improve on last year’s dismal 0-12 record.
Ottawa is ranked second in the country and won the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) championship last year.
The Rams started the second half with a more aggressive attitude and managed to play up to the Gee Gee’s level at times by constructing a couple of threatening offensive break outs of their own.
Despite an improved passing game, the Rams were still unable to generate much offense. The last time these two teams met, Ryerson lost 12-0.
Rams news head coach Jon Sanderson feels that his team just needs time to gel and will eventually become competitive. He admits this is a rebuilding year and hopes for three or four wins.
“We’re athletic and have a good attitude. We just have to stop playing as individuals and find some scoring,” he said.
Sanderson hopes some of the missing scoring will come from Ryerson’s newest striker, Caroline Acome.
The 25-year-old Acome comes from Durham College where she won her division’s scoring title. The sniper had a soccer scholarship before in the United States.
“I see that this team has potential and I know we’ll get better with practice,” said Acome. She played with poise and was unspectacular effective in her Ryerson debut. Like Sanderson, she also expects at least three or four wins this season.
Sanderson also hopes for contributions from Isabel Campbell and Catherine Bedard. They also expected to provide some scoring and leadership.
The key word this season seems to be potential. Sanderson thinks the Rams have raw talent that just needs to be “moulded.”
But perhaps the best assessment comes from Ottawa’s coach Steve Johnson, “This Ram’s team is faster and more athletic than last year. I also think [Acome] can be dangerous. They are a definite improvement.”
The women play Trent University Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Birchmount Stadium.