By Sean Fitz-Gerald
The Ryerson women’s basketball team has lost one of its fiercest competitors for the rest of the season.Rams stand-out point guard Karina Navarro has left the team because of academic problems.
“She’s always been one of our big scoring threats,” Rams head coach Sandra Pothier said. “There are just some things she had to take care of this semester to solidify her future.”
Navarro could not be reached for comment.
She led the team in scoring last season.
With her accuracy from the three-point line and precision passing, the Brockville, Ont. native helped take the Rams near the top of the league in team scoring.
Ryerson average more than 65 points a game this season. Only U of T and Laurentian score more per game.
To compound the loss of Navarro, who still has another year of eligibility left after this season, the team has also lost Australian exchange student/guard Monique Hanley for the rest of the year because she returned home as planned. Hanley came off the bench in the first semester and played solid defence for a team that plays shaky in its own end at times.
After ending the first semester on a high note, beating the Quebec league-leading Concordia Stingers to finish 4-2, the Rams’ luck has taken a turn for the worse.
This past weekend, even the weather turned against Ryerson. The snowstorm crippled the city also temporarily halted the team’s trip to Ottawa, to play the lowly Carleton Ravens (1-7), and the even lower Ottawa Gee Gees (0-7).
But the weather cleared enough for the Rams to make it to Carleton on Sunday where they beat the Ravens handily, 64-49.
“Our first half play was not up to par with our abilities,” Rams head coach Sandra Pothier said.
Ryerson was down at the half, but outscored the Ravens 38-20 in the second half to take the victory.
Miruna Muller led the Rams with 22 points and five rebounds, centre Daniela Puhst battled through a cold to score 14.
Petra Wolfbeiss started in Navarro’s old spot and scored 7 points, and had one assist.
This weekend will be a test of character for the Rams. The Laurentian Voyageurs, undefeated and ranked fourth nationally, will arrive in Kerr Hall this Friday to play with Ryerson at 6 p.m. This game will be followed by another tough division game at home on Sunday when the York Yeowomen come in to play at 2 p.m.
Pothier is confident her team will prevail this weekend, despite the loss of Navarro and Hanley.
“I think [the team] knows some of the things they can improve upon,” she said, adding that she has been stressing team defence for the majority of the holiday practices.
The loss of Navarro may be noticed more against a higher caliber team like Laurentian, but Pothier thinks her team will be prepared.
“Teams will try and pressure us more now that Karina is out of there,” she said. “But these are the things that with or without Karina, we have to be cognisant of.”