By Sean Fitz-Gerald
If goals were given out for determination, the Ryerson men’s soccer squad would be celebrating their victory over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.
Unfortunately, much like sex and nose-picking, close doesn’t count in soccer.
The Rams showed a lot of desire and pluck against the Blues Sunday at Varsity Stadium, only to end losing 1-0.
“It was a great game,” Ryerson head coach Stuart Miller said. “There was no doubt that we should have at least got a point if not the victory.”
Ryerson started badly. For most of the first half, the Ram defenders were in danger of developing repetitive stress disorder from chasing the Varsity Blues forwards back towards the Ryerson net.
Although it looked like the Rams could have escaped the half without injury, the Blues scored on a lucky bounce from a corner kick and assumed the lead 1-0.
The second half was almost exclusively Ryerson’s. Patience and better passing allowed the Rams to dominate inside the U of T end. The Ram’s were thwarted by the Blue’s goaltender.
“Some of those saves were the best I’ve seen at this level,” Miller admitted.
“We’ve just got to finish our chances,” Ryerson midfielder C.Y. Paul said. “It was our first year players, they’re still trying to get accustomed to the fast pace [of the university level]. But they’ll come on.”
The Ram’s gritty performance also drew admiration and even a little envy from U of T head coach, Jim Lefkos.
“They’re a good side and I’m very impressed with them,” he said. “Our goalie kept us in it for the last few minutes. IF it wasn’t for our goalie, it would have been 2-1 Ryerson.”
Lefkos said he would have liked his own team to show the work ethic that Ryerson did.
“It’s one thing to not have a good day, but to not play hard for the win upset me,” he said.
The Rams are now 1-3 (Their win was a 7-1 waxing of Trent University last week).
“It seems like I’m saying this all the time with our team. You know, ‘we played well, but in the end we came up short,’” Miller said. “But today, it [the outcome] was rotten because we played so well.”
The Rams’ game is this Wednesday at Birchmount Stadium in Scarborough. They will entertain York at 1 p.m.